Kinect-based tech being used to protect Korean border

System that can identify difference between animals and humans currently monitoring demilitarized zone between North and and South Korea.

Microsoft's motion-control Kinect technology is being used to monitor the border between North and South Korea, according to newly released documentation out of the Asian nation. South Korean programmer Jae Kwan Ko created a Kinect-based software system that is currently being used to scan the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the countries, it has been revealed.

A report from South Korean newspaper Hankooki (translated by Kotaku) reveals that the technology has been in place at the border since last summer but was only just recently announced to the public.

The system works by automatically identifying anything that crosses into the DMZ, and can even intelligently detect the difference between animals and humans. Upon the identification of a human crossing the border, the software alerts a close-by outpost.

In the report, Ko said, "I've never even thought of a game system performing national defense tasks." He explained that future iterations of the technology could detect heart rates and heat levels.

It's unclear if the Kinect-based security system is using the Xbox 360's original Kinect or the Xbox One's Kinect camera. The Xbox One has yet to be released in South Korea.

Kinect may have been designed with gaming in mind, but the technology has already seen numerous non-gaming applications. Government organizations like NASA are using Kinect for various research endeavors, and Microsoft's own research lab is looking into ways to leverage the technology to assist with sign language translation.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

124 comments
MrMilkmann
MrMilkmann

Why not just get thermal cameras?

ff7100
ff7100

Kinect finally found its use!

3dmatrixgamer
3dmatrixgamer

gaming innovations are now beyond gaming realms but i wonder why MS is so desperate with its own product XOne.

jakerscythe
jakerscythe

Ahh, Microsoft expanding into the arms trade.

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

Open Letter to Kim Jong-Un:


Just arm all your soldiers with a sofa/couch.

You can thank me later.

HIT3kNology
HIT3kNology

They are using a software system "based" off the Kinect, they are not simply taking Kinects connected to XBOX systems and hanging them off trees. Too many Muppets on here can't even comprehend a basic article. Perhaps Gamespot can invest in a system that prevents retards from leaving comments.

edant79
edant79

Poor little north Koreans.....they just want out.

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

WE HAVE AN INTRUDER IN THE DMZ!!!! ORDER THE PIZZAHUT NOW!!!!

deadpen
deadpen

Okay one last post. WHY THE PHQ doesn't america use this on the Mexican boarder? We could link it with a drone (missile loaded drone) and "protect" the boarders cheaper and there wouldn't be a need for a wall.

Kurushio
Kurushio

Since it's not very useful for games, it's good that it's good for something.

bluefox755
bluefox755

At least it's useful for something.

deadpen
deadpen

They have to use it like this in Korea since the kinect's face recognition doesn't work for....... certain groups of people.

LOXO7
LOXO7

But how well does it detect against bullets or missiles?  Being in a militarized zone, those are the things that are most likely to cross this border.  Does this also mean my government can stop spending my money on soldiers over there and start spending my money on soldiers in the borders of my own country?  Kinect would be more productive in determining what is human and what is not in the southern border states.  Save money and be more productive?  When it's the government, no way!

zintarr
zintarr

Its also being used to spy on American citizens right in their own homes.

hadlee73
hadlee73

This is why Kinect voice commands don't respond to some gamer voices. The hairy gamers are identified as animals.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

This doesn't add much to the NSA Spybox One argument- it sounds like this Kinect-like camera system is merely tracking motion to detect people, which is, simply put, what the Kinect is designed to do

Unless, of course, the cameras are capable of identifying individual people, but that's not what it says here

DarkNeoBahamut
DarkNeoBahamut

But but the Kinect was made for gaming, not for monitoring people, right? RIGHT?

idk95
idk95

Not to be ignorant or anything but before the Kinect was even thought of they had camera's with the same capabilities as the Kinect, so why has this item been used for so many other things?

Sozialminister
Sozialminister

this proves that microsoft invented kinect for the use of spying and not gaming. if you use it as a gaming device, it blows even for casual gamers. but its still good enough to be used as a spying tool in one of the technological most advanced armys of this world.

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

is it something like a camera?


oh wait...

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

So...all they need to do to avert a conflict is to hook up these Kinects to an Imax screen playing Just Dance 2014.

bfa1509
bfa1509

Forgive my ignorance, but why do south Koreans have turrets that can pick off any heat dissipating organism within the DMZ if they offer free asylum to North Korean defectors?

CrusaderForever
CrusaderForever

So it is useful for something!  Now I know what "The Cloud" is for!  All those photos!

gamist
gamist

"The system works by automatically identifying anything that crosses into the DMZ, and can even intelligently detect the difference between animals and humans."

So people have tried the 2-man animal suit and failed, huh?

Pupchu
Pupchu

finally! the north koreans will be able to touch their games! this is solid concrete proof and irrefutable statement of X1's superiority

con47
con47

So if I yell "Xbox, open fire!" will it shoot North Koreans?

Kr3isen
Kr3isen

Does it shoot on sight?

Saketume
Saketume

Just yell "Xbox, watch VH1" as you run across the border.

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

If you want to win a war, you should learn with the best: USA.

combigotes
combigotes

sooo... the next version of "papers please" will be compatible with kinect

wallacom
wallacom

@HIT3kNology  HAHAHAHA LOOOOL XBOX hanging from trees, wow, you my friend made my day

streamline
streamline

I wonder if they need an Xbox Live subscription in order for it to work. j/k, probably doesn't.

hystavito
hystavito

@deadpen  I think countries like the USA already have far better tech for this kind of thing.

deadpen
deadpen

@zintarr Microsoft has a huge picture library of my tant and anus 

ganonshin
ganonshin

Lol!!!I love this comment, keep it up mate.

91210user
91210user

@idk95 I think, no one want to trade with them... cameras with that type of tech needs to be upgraded from time to time but that cost money to program and etc, I think because Microsoft issues free upgrades for them to download, it's may be cost effective to the Koreans. 

TimberWolf_CLT
TimberWolf_CLT

@Sozialminister Just to add fuel to your foil hat paranoia.  MS didn't develop the tech in the first one, it was a company in Israel. 

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

@Sozialminister Everything proves that MS invented the kinect for everything but gaming.... It's the main issue they have right now...

LOXO7
LOXO7

@veryDERPY Bad.  Remember.  You are the controller.  Kinect is merely the port you plug the controller into.

No.  That doesn't work.  Um...

ad1x2
ad1x2

@bfa1509  Not all people who cross the border are defectors, some of the people trying to cross the border are spies.