Researchers convert Google's Gmail Motion joke into reality with Microsoft Kinect

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On April 1, Google introduced a new Motion feature to its Gmail service. Gmail Motion is supposed to let you access and control your Gmail account using gestures, but the demonstration video made it quite clear that it was an April Fools' joke. Researchers at Institute of Creative Technologies (ICT) decided that they didn't find it funny, and announced a hack using the Microsoft Kinect sensor for the Xbox 360 to control Gmail using Gmail Motion's exact suggested gestures.

Here's the video's description: " This morning, Google introduced Gmail Motion, allowing users to control Gmail using gestures and body movement. However, for whatever reason, their application doesn't appear to work. So, we demonstrate our solution - the Software Library Optimizing Obligatory Waving (SLOOW) - and show how it can be used with a Microsoft Kinect sensor to control Gmail using the gestures described by Google. This project was made by Evan Suma and the folks at Mark Bolas' MxR Lab at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies."

The demo video above clearly shows that the researchers have managed to put together middleware dubbed SLOOW (Software Library Optimizing Obligatory Waving) that turns Google's joke into reality. The Kinect is hooked up to a Windows machine and then uses SLOOW to detect human motion and interact with Gmail with pre-configured controls.

Google's attempt at a positive PR push has suddenly become a great PR story for Microsoft. Ever since Redmond embraced the hacking community, the Kinect has been selling itself.

We're not huge fans of April Fools' here, as it often becomes quite a headache to distinguish the obviously fake news, the possibly fake news, the rumor news, and the real news. That being said, this is different, because it's a conversion of fake news to real news.

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