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British researchers build battery-powered, Wi-Fi-enabled Kinect sensor

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Researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK have built a self-contained Kinect unit which runs on battery power and uses Wi-Fi for communication.

Mobile Kinect, University of Bristol
Mobile Kinect, University of Bristol

Researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK have managed to free Microsoft's popular Kinect depth sensor from the constraints of wired use, building a self-contained unit which runs on battery power and uses Wi-Fi for communication. Created as part of the Patina project, the device contains a Gumstix single-board Linux computer for interfacing with the sensor, and produces results which can be outputted to mobile devices — the demonstration video below shows information being displayed on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

According to an explanatory blog post, the unit only makes use of the camera part of Microsoft's product, with much of the processing being handled by a homemade circuit board. Still, the researchers have published designs for the board online in both CadSoft Eagle and Gerber formats, so hackers with access to PCB printers and the requisite components should be able to knock together similar devices without too much trouble.