We all lose or misplace our phones, keys, or wallets at some point. If it's not the mad scramble in the morning to recover your keys, it's the heart-stopping moment you reach for your phone to find it's not in your pocket. If you have a Kinect, though, no longer will these precious items be misplaced.
Researchers from the University of Virginia developed a Kinect mod called Kinsight that can help you scout out your lost items. Kinsight can find your items using a couple of algoritms: a "Deep Sweep" and Context-Oriented Object Recognition.
For a Deep Sweep search, Kinsight will basically look at where you last interacted with the object and use the Kinect's depth perception to find the item--pretty useful if your phone is down the side of the couch. Meanwhile, Context-Oriented Object Recognition can tell different objects apart from one another and look for where you are likely to leave them, or even where you left them in the past--good if that pesky keyring keeps falling out of your pocket when you sit down.
Of course, for both of these methods to work, you will need to add the objects into the Kinsight's repository so it knows what to search for. The mod is also far from complete: For instance, if an object is a certain distance away from the sensors, Kinsight might not be able to locate it, which could be annoying if you are searching a big room. The same problem will arise if an object is too small for Kinsight to identify, or if it's transparent. Interestingly, items that were too close together--for example, a bunch of keys, with each key scanned in individually--also gave Kinsight some difficulty.
The team are still working with Kinsight to improve these errors, and according to New Scientist, an app is in development to aid the mod too. Though even with that in mind, it is still probably quicker to find the missing property yourself.
Copyright (c) 2012 PCWorld Communications, Inc.