Kinect Cameras are Watching The South Korean Border Right Now

Kinect Cameras are Watching The South Korean Border Right Now

Kinect for Xbox One

That camera you yell at in your living room is now guarding one of the most dangerous places on the planet.

Kinect is being called up to the big leagues, folks. The South Korean military has announced they are using a Kinect-based security system to help protect itself from North Korean invasion, placing cameras along its border to monitor the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) for military encroachment.

Why use Kinect? The system uses the Kinect camera/motion detector to quickly assess potential threats near the border. The sensors can tell the difference between humans and animals, and can alert nearby stations if it detects someone who shouldn't be there.

Developed by South Korean programmer Jae Kwan Ko, the system was installed in August and recently announced to the public. "I've never even thought of a game system performing national defense tasks," Ko told Korean publication Hankooki. (As translated by Kotaku)

Ko also mentioned that, when fully implemented, the system will be able to monitor a subject's heart rate and body temperature: Two features found in the Xbox One version of Kinect.

The Xbox One is expected to launch in South Korea later this year.

Source: Hankooki via Kotaku

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So now the Xbone does TV, Sports and National Defense. Take that Sony!

Well if it works as well as it does on the consoles I expect they will turn off within a week after every stray leaf in the wind sets of a major alert and whole platoons of North Korean soldiers just walking past it.

Well should the Xbox None flop at least it has a potential career in National Security.

I bet the team that developed the camera is sweating like mad right now.

That's a lot of pressure to put a slightly glitchy consumer tech under.

Are they using Kinect 1.0 or 2.0? Because 1.0 most definitely cannot distinguish between humans and animals. Mine often interprets my dog's wagging tail as a hand. Worse, it once locked onto a couch cushion thinking it was my "head".

Given many gameplay videos featuring the Kinect 2.0, I don't hold out much hope for it being much better than the 1.0. Other than the new temperature sensors they've added, anyway.

On a sidenote, I've been to the DMZ. Nothing has moved in that area for decades without both militaries knowing about it. Kinect or no.

MinionJoe:
Are they using Kinect 1.0 or 2.0?

I think it's the 2.0 unless the first one could measure heart rate and temperature.

CriticalMiss:

I think it's the 2.0 unless the first one could measure heart rate and temperature.

I checked out the original article and they're currently using Kinect 1.0. They may upgrade to 2.0 so they can monitor temperature and heart rates. Though, they point out that the XB1 hasn't been released in Korea yet.

The photo that Kotaku used in their translated article really takes me back though. I've stood in the photographer's exact spot. Guards stare at each other for 8 hours a shift between those buildings (which were built on the border in the 50's to facilitate the cease fire agreement).

Inside each of the buildings is a table sitting on the border (carefully marked out with a painted line), and equal number of chairs on each side of the table (4-5, I forget how many), and dozens of microphones hanging from the ceiling. Everything in there is monitored 24/7.

It's the tensest place I've ever been. And I've lived in some pretty rough neighborhoods.

I just said yesterday someone needs to hack the Kinect 2.0. Someone send Jae Kwan Ko a couple xbone kinects so he can pick them apart and start implementing them the way he wants. Then every xbone owner in the world can easily export that stupid spy cam to someone who can actually use it. All M$ needs to do now is make a useless xbox peripheral that can be used to find more of the "Coal Mines" North Korea is digging right under the DMZ.

Hopefully this system will let South Korean patrols decide better about whether or not the person(s) trying to cross are defectors trying to see their long lost families or spies and saboteurs, who may be armed and dangerous. That place makes the Berlin Wall look like a picket fence with a tired, old guard dog.

The Kinect; the most powerful surveillance tool known to man. And you let it into your home : )

Well I consider this a plus in Microsoft's favor. Your system which people have been pooping on turns out to keep a military and their zone safe from harm's way. If any of my devices or future products kept a civilization or majority of people in any place of the world safe... i'd pat myself and my coworkers on the back.

HOWEVER, it can also backfire. The Kinect is known to be glitchy and have motion problems so unless it was upgraded itself by said military... it'll alarm people over a leaf passing by the camera. We'll just have to see how affective it is.

Well, all the North Koreans have to do in order to sneak by the Kinect Border Security System is to lean back and forth as they walk, since the Kinect fails miserably at detecting leaning movements properly. >_>

Using the Kinect to secure your borders? The thing can barely detect hand motions. Just wait until it starts a war by reading an old boot as a squad of North Korean soldiers.

It's not a bragging point to say the Kinect won't trigger on moving non-human moving objects... otherwise South Korea will get Kinect-cam vision of cardboard box migrations. Upgrade to thermal? Coat the boxes in mud. It won't make you blend perfectly into the soil, but a thermal camera wouldn't be able to auto-ID the occupant as a human.

The Kinect wasn't designed to detect things trying their hardest to hide from it. Hopefully it's well tested (and well-modified) before it sees action.

It's sad that modders can utilize this technology far more efficiently and effectively than the techs creators... Anyway it's a cheap, motion sensitive, day, night vision enabled, FLIR (forward looking infrared) camera. Makes sense to use it for boarder security.

cheap motion sensors that you cna hack and write costum software for? sure, why not use that. its not really a kinect at this point anymore as much as taking car engine and maknig it run a boat makes it a car.

Can they be turned off by shouting at them?

If so all you need is a few hundred parrots, train them to say "xbox off" at release them along the border.

 

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