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Kinect is helping guard the Korean border

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Kinect Korean border (Hankook Ilbo)
Kinect Korean border (Hankook Ilbo)

Microsoft’s Kinect sensor has been used in many weird and wonderful ways, including turning a bathtub into a giant liquid touch screen, and its obvious use alongside the Oculus Rift. While it’s moving rapidly away from its origins as a games console accessory, self-taught programmer Jae Kwan Ko is extending its use even further as a method of border protection. South Korea and North Korea are separated by a heavily armed border and Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and Ko has developed software and hardware for a system that uses Kinect to detect moving objects.

Hankook Ilbo reports that Ko’s system was supplied to the US Army back in August, and it has since been installed at some parts of the DMZ. The Kinect-powered system can detect whether a moving object is human or an animal, and it will automatically trigger alerts at the army base if its detects human movement. "I didn't know if a gaming device could play a vital role in national security,” says Ko, who graduated from high school before starting his own business and receiving a Most Valuable Professional award from Microsoft. Ko specializes in creating applications for Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Kinect, which might help explain his rather unusual system for border protection.