9 Reasons Kinect Is From the Future
Last year, I showed a non-gamer friend some Project Natal to see what he thought about this weird new thing. Well, he thought it was weird. But he also had one very interesting piece of insight. He said said it looked like Microsoft had cobbled together some sort of crazy future technology that, judging by the dumb “slap the red balls” game, they had no idea what to do with. That they don’t know what to do with it isn’t the important part, though; what is important is that it’s a bunch of future tech slapped into a plastic case that’s selling for $150. How do we know it’s from the future? Here’s nine reasons why:
1. You will eventually be able to use it to prevent murder.
Have you seen Minority Report? In that movie, Tom Cruise waves his arms around like a wild man and somehow that makes his computer do stuff. It’s totally awesome, and Kinect is basically that, except you don’t have to wear leather gloves with blowy balls on them. What I’m saying is this: in 2054, DCPD will prevent murder by hooking an Xbox 360 and Kinect up to some drug-addled psychics. This is a fact.
If you can believe it, MIT has been working on something like this for 20 years. And yet Microsoft beat them to the punch and Kinect does way more than what the fancy schmancy MIT thing can do. Thus Kinect is from the future. Or they killed a bunch of the MIT guys and stole their work. It’s a tossup, I guess, but for the purposes of this list, it’s definitely from the future I win.
2. You can talk to it.
“Xbox play music. Xbox pause. Xbox switch to the motherf**king Bama game.” Where have we seen people interacting with their inanimate technology by talking to it before? Oh yeah, science fiction. In the future, you won’t ever have to actually physically do anything in order to turn on a light or open a door or put on your clothes or masturbate, because all you have to do is yell that you want something done and the robots will do it for you. Yeah, Kinect certainly has it’s limitations in terms of what it will do when you yell at it — you can’t even turn on your 360 that way — but Microsoft had to sacrifice some things in order to get production costs down and to make the thing seem a bit more like something people of the present could have made.
3. It can see in 3D through some method no one understands.
Kinect uses a camera with “3D sensing” rather than using an actual 3D camera. It uses this thing called a PrimeSensor from a company called PrimeSense. The company’s website says the PrimeSensor is a standalone thing that you can use to change channels and s**t on your TV, but really the only thing it’s ever been used for is Kinect. Here’s how it works, per the PrimeSense website:
PrimeSense’s technology for acquiring the depth image is based on Light Coding™. Light Coding works by coding the scene volume with near-IR light. The IR Light Coding is invisible to the human eye. The solution then utilizes a standard off-the-shelf CMOS image sensor to read the coded light back from the scene. PrimeSense’s SoC chip is connected to the CMOS image sensor, and executes a sophisticated parallel computational algorithm to decipher the received light coding and produce a depth image of the scene. The solution is immune to ambient light.
Ooooooooookkkkkkkkk. I don’t know what that means, you don’t know what that means, and anyone who says they do know what it means is either f**king lying or the person who brought this crap from the future, because nobody who is from this point in time could possibly make something like that.
4. It’s virtual reality.
About right now you’re thinking this whole list has jumped the shark. You’re like, “wot d hell mang U knO itz not that.” But it is. Look at that picture there. There’s a kid who’s holding his hands up in front of his face like he’s holding a steering wheel and driving, because he’s playing a driving game, except there’s nothing at all in his hands. What could possibly make someone do that aside from virtual reality or drugs or dementia or some really badass new dance craze? The answer is nothing, and it’s certainly not some insane “you be the controller” input device for a video game console, right? Right? The truth is that Kinect projects the game straight in to your brain. This might mean that Kudo Tsunoda is the Riddler.
Yeah, I know Milo is kibosh. But that doesn’t change that fact that he, an actual AI, exists. Morpheus may have said that we created AI “early in the 21st century,” but guess what; we haven’t done it yet. We can’t do it, and the reason Milo isn’t going to market is because Peter Molyneux and co. were unable to fully grasp Milo’s programming so as to ensure he would not do all the horrendous s**t that the movies have taught us AIs will do once they’re unleashed upon the world. And he definitely would have done those things had he been in millions of homes and plugged in to the internet in most of them. Aside from The Movies, keeping Milo in a box is the best thing Peter Molyneux’s has done for the world.
6. It’s built for a era in history in which everyone has enormous living spaces.
For Kinect to work, you have to stand at least six feet from the sensor, and that’s only if you wanna play alone. For more folks to join in, you’ll need even more space. Now, I don’t know where you live, but I live in a small apartment. There is a way I could arrange all my s**t so I could have enough space to use Kinect with more than one player, but it would leave my TV facing a window, which means I’d have a nasty glare on the screen during the afternoon, as the window faces west. And now I’m trying to imagine what kind of hilarious sitcom scenario it would have taken to arrange the closet I inhabited in LA to make Kinect work, and my mind is now on the verge of exploding. So we’ll move away from that thought.
Anyway, Microsoft wants everybody to have Kinect, even though probably a good percentage of the people who have Xbox 360s can’t. Why the hell would they make something like that in the world we live in today? They wouldn’t, because the device is from the future. A future in which most everyone died from New Plague or some other future disease we don’t know about yet. After that epidemic, only like 1300 million people are left in the whole world, and everyone has big houses. And they can all use Kinect very effectively because they have 100″ wall screens and can stand 20 feet away for all anybody gives a s**t.
7. It replaces your pets.
While everybody is going down because of the New Plague or whatever it is that kills everyone, a crazy new mutated strain of distemper (which affects all cute animals) gets loose from the military lab that created it, and it kills all household pets. This is why Kinectimals exists, because I really can’t imagine why anyone would want that game if they could have a real pet around. What I’m saying is that literally the only scenario in which Kinectimals’ existence could ever make sense would be in a world without pets. This is when you join the conversation once more and tell me, “I tink U mite b rEchN ‘gen,” but you’re wrong. You may think Tomagotchi nullifies my argument, but it doesn’t, because that was a thing you played with at school when you were away from your real pet. You can only play Kinectimals when you’re at home in your extravagant mansion.
8. It uses magic.
Microsoft isn’t even bothering to try to hide this one. If you head over Xbox.com and visit the Kinect section, you’ll see this question: “What is Kinect?” And answer: “Magic disguised as technology.” Holy crap. This explains why the camera tech in Kinect is so inscrutable, certainly. We can’t know how it works now because we won’t invent the the ability to channel magic with machines for many more years. In fact, all that camera mumbo jumbo probably actually is mumbo jumbo, because the camera probably doesn’t do anything at all as the whole thing is just magic. That being the case, Kinect had better support Rick Deckard’s photo editing software that let’s you look around corners.*
9. It’s made so even morons can use it.
You don’t need to know anything you don’t already know.
Has anyone every really had that much trouble with a gamepad? I mean, when I went from being a hardcore PC gamer to a hardcore console gamer, it took me some very small amount of time to adjust to playing shooters with dual sticks, but it’s not like it was a terribly intellectual enterprise. Come on, grandpa, stop being such a little bitch and just try. You keep dementia at bay by excercising your brain, not your legs.
Anyway… The people of the future are generally really stupid, because people use the internet, which in turn makes them feel smart, even though all they’re consuming is humorous lists (this list in particular is designed to make you dumber) and stuff like this. Before your grandkids know it, we’ll be using peanut butter as toothpaste and getting drunk off water, because that’s just how the world will work in a society in which water is actually vodka. In a world like that, you can’t rely on consumers to be able to learn anything.
“But, Philllllll, if everybody is so dumb in the future, how is it that they made Kinect and a time machine to bring it to us?” It’s very simple. There were a few smart people left, and those people were forced to design exciting things for the barbarians to play with. These things, naturally, had to be very simple and easy to use, and so they made Kinect and gave it the tagline: “You don’t need to know anything you don’t already know.” This worked really well on the barbarians.
Eventually, though, the barbarian hordes decided to purge all the smart people from the face of the Earth because their faces were annoying. They couldn’t quite get everyone, though, and the last few smart people retreated to a secret facility in Alaska where the barbarians could not reach them because it’s f**king cold up there, bro.
They stayed there for hundreds of generations, waiting for the hordes to die off, but it didn’t happen. The last brave souls realized that nothing would ever improve, because the dumb people were too dumb to all die out and all the smart people were so inbred by that point that nothing good could come from them starting the repopulation. And so they constructed the Conduit, er, a time machine and gathered all the technology they could and travelled back in time to give it to us in hopes that we could use it to save our future. And that’s how Kinect came to us.
*That’s a Blade Runner reference, dumbass.