New Kinect Armor Fires Mobile Interactive Projections

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Equipping Microsoft’s new shoulder piece gives you +10 Geek and -4 Chic.

In a move reminiscent of Dead Rising 2’s weapon crafting system, Microsoft’s research and development team has hobbled together a Kinect, pico projector, and some sort of bandoleer to create a wearable multitouch projector. Essentially the (currently) unwieldy accoutrement would allow its user to project an interactive screen onto any surface they’re facing. In theory, this could be your phone’s number pad, a game, or your inbox. Come on, you know you want to play Angry Birds on your Aunt Mildred’s face!

The device uses the Kinect in a really interesting way. Unlike most “hacks” we’ve seen, the peripheral isn’t used for capturing input, only judging the surface area in front of you. Basically, that means that your projected touchscreen would have a maximum size that you might see on, say, a giant wall, but scalable dimensions for something more wieldy and private, like a tiny notebook (or your Aunt Mildred’s forehead).

If the device proves it’s worth in future development, obviously the components would be heavily miniaturized (though some miscreants may still prefer walking around with what looks like a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher, so who knows). This could lead to some much more fashionable iterations, such a pin you attach to the front of your shirt, a clip for a collar, or the very height of style itself, something built into a fancy bowtie.

I’m not sure how often I look at the front of my smart phone and think, “dang, if only this was on the side of a building and not in my hand!” but the tech is neat if for no other reason than a possible bridge to the next way we interact with our devices. It’s not going to be tablets and voice-activated butlers forever, you know.


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