Remember one of the pranks Google pulled off during April Fool’s Day called Gmail Motion? Some folks from the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies decided to make a real, working version of Gmail Motion with the help of the Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect peripheral sensor. For those who are not familiar with Gmail Motion is or what is was “supposed” to do, Gmail Motion allows users to control their Gmail inbox (opening emails, replying, etc.) using body motion.
From the YouTube video posted by USCICT:
This morning, Google introduced Gmail Motion, allowing users to control Gmail using gestures and body movement. However, for whatever reason, their application doesn’t appear to work. So, we demonstrate our solution – the Software Library Optimizing Obligatory Waving (SLOOW) – and show how it can be used with a Microsoft Kinect sensor to control Gmail using the gestures described by Google. This project was made by Evan Suma and the folks at Mark Bolas’ MxR Lab at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies.
Here’s USCICT’s version of Gmail Motion – SLOOW
Although this was intended to be a spoof video of Gmail Motion, this shows that the concept and the technology is “real” and can be applied in the real world. The SLOOW software mentioned on the video is based on USCICT’s FAAST software toolkit which was primarily developed to allow physical therapists to use off-the-shelf games and turn them into rehabilitation tools. Btw, this video/technology also shows the endless capabilities of the Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect.
What do you think of USCICT’s version of Gmail Motion? Do you think this type of technology would actually be used in the real world? Would you like to be able to control Gmail or other software applications using body movements? Please share your thoughts.