Kinect sensor used to monitor Korean border

Credit: Microsoft

When you think of a national border, you think of barbed wire fences and soldiers with huge guns and guard dogs patrolling the scene. What you don't think of is Kinect. To everyone's surprise, South Korea is using Microsoft's body-tracking 3D camera to keep an eye on the Korean border.

Korean news site Hankooki (via Kotaku) has revealed a Kinect has been dutifully standing guard at the Korean border since August. Jae Kwan Ko, a South Korean programmer reportedly created software for Kinect to monitor the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) — the area between North and South Korea.

Using the custom software, the Kinect is reportedly able to detect the difference between humans and animals, and then send an alert to guards if it "sees" a human. As Kotaku notes, the report doesn't include a lot of details, but it isn't difficult to infer that the Kinect is probably scanning for skeleton types and then matching them up to a database.

Ko claims a future version will detect heart rates and heat, which is something the Xbox One's more advanced Kinect can do.

Over the years, we've seen Kinect used for a number of clever hacks and mods, but Ko's idea to use it to monitor and guard the Korean border take the top prize for usefulness.

Hankooki (Korean), via Kotaku

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