Thu 4 Nov 2010
I'm standing in front of my television, and as I lift both hands to the air, palms facing inward, the crowd goes wild. They stand and cheer. This is what it has come to: adulation for no effort. It's like I've just received a holy affirmation, and I'm ashamed to admit how good it feels. And this is just a menu in Kinect Sports. The Kinect whirrs to life when you turn your system on. It looks down at your floor, and then up to your face. It knows what your room looks like. My TV was on power-saving mode one night and came to life when I reached for a soda. The Kinect saw my arm movement and assumed I wanted to play. It's like a lost puppy.
My wife is uncomfortable with our television these days, as there are no less than three cameras or sensors facing us when we watch something; it's like facing a firing squad. The PlayStation Eye goes on the top of the television, the Wii sensor goes into a slot under the screen but above the base, and the weightier, mechanical Kinect goes on the TV stand. When the system is turned on there is a green LED that lights up on the front, as well as what appears to be a very weak red laser from the left-most sensor. That's the IR projector that the hardware uses to see in the dark. If Microsoft was right and I am the controller, I pray my system never becomes weaponized. Let's take a look at hardware that claims to be the future of our living rooms.