I have to be honest, I am a little skeptical of Microsoft’s upcoming Kinect
. I am not someone who will “bash and trash” the peripheral / interface, but I just don’t have high expectations for the device in terms of its "extended-usability". I question its lifespan in terms of its cost effectiveness. If, in fact, a report coming out of Gamespot
is true... I may change my opinion on the device all together.
According to a recent Gamestop article
, the Kinect
patent listing states that the device can detect and recognize American Sign Language. If true, this would be a huge step for games in terms of accessibility to those with disabilities, the deaf in this case. While this feature doesn’t alter my personal interest in Kinect, it does draw out an incredible respect for the device. Video games have long been criticized for their accessibility as it relates to individuals with disabilities, and this would be a major step to reach out to those who may not have traditionally been able to experience everything that the technology has had to offer in the recent years.
In the description(s) noted from the article, gamers will be able to communicate with other players online using ASL. The Kinect
system will be able to interpret the intended message(s) from the signing player and transmit the message, audibly, to the intended recipient. Not counting games, just think about how convenient this would be for video conferencing involving people who use ASL... the possibilities are endless.