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Last week Microsoft unveiled its new generation Xbox One videogame console and Kinect 2.0 -- and while the company has made no official healthcare annoucement, the Kinect motion-detecting sensor could do a whole lot for the future of fitness.
While games such as Nintendo’s Wii Fit are already popular, next generation Kinect games could promise to do even more, such as offer personalized correction of your yoga poses or weight-training exercises, said Marcelo Calbucci, cofounder and CTO of fitness tech company Everymove, in Mobihealthnew .
Plus it’s been widely reported last week that the Xbox Kinect can detect a person’s heartrate via changes in the color of their skin. Watch: youtube.com/watch?v=mWWjUTYseAM. And since heart rate variability tells a lot about your physical and emotional health, Kinect could potentially determine not only if you’re getting a good cardio workout but whether or not you’re stressed, depressed, or exhausted.
Calbucci adds that like smartphone apps, Kinect could also take photos of you to track new moles and skin conditions, or see if that anti-aging regimen is really working.
Calbucci even goes so far as to say that no other device, with the exception of the smartphone, will do more for the evolution of health technology.
"Microsoft released the first Kinect just three years ago, but they’ve been working on the software for more than a decade, and they’ve built a platform, which means new apps (not only games) will be able to tap into an amazing source of information on our body," he writes.
US scientists have already created a 3D rendered simulated therapist that can analyze facial expressions, body language, and speech to test for depression. SimSensei, still in its early phases, uses a webcam and Kinect sensors to log people's body language, as well as facial recognition software to read facial expressions -- a downward gaze, shifting in the seat -- to glean insights into a person's mental state.
Plus with Skype and Kinect, a personal trainer or physical therapist could offer guidance from anywhere in the world, opening up the possibility of a serious workout and/or rehabilitation at home.
The report adds that Kinect could be used in telemedicine, giving doctors a peek at your body, zooming in or getting a heart rate reading without any additional equipment.