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CHAPTER 8: Beyond the Basics > Proximity Detection

Proximity Detection

Thanks to the success of Kinect on the Xbox, it is tempting to think of Kinect applications as complete experiences. Kinect can also be used, however, to simply augment standard applications that use the mouse, keyboard, or touch as primary input modes. For instance, one could use the Kinect microphone array without any of its visual capabilities as an alternative speech input device for productivity or communication applications where Kinect is only one of several options for receiving microphone input. Alternatively, one could use Kinect's visual analysis merely to recognize that something happened visually rather than try to do anything with the visual, depth, or skeleton data.

In this section, we will explore using the Kinect device as a proximity sensor. For this purpose, all that we are looking for is whether something has occurred or not. Is a person standing in front of Kinect? Is something that is not a person moving in front of Kinect? When the trigger we specify reaches a certain threshold, we then start another process. A trigger like this could be used to turn on the lights in a room when someone walks into it. For commercial advertising applications, a kiosk can go into an attract mode when no one is in range, but then begin more sophisticated interaction when a person comes close. Instead of merely writing interactive applications, it is possible to write applications that are aware of their surroundings.


  

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