The actual technobabble ran deep -- not shocking given the academic nature of the conference -- but the demos shown were nothing short of jaw-dropping. There's no question that this methodology could be used to spark the next generation of gaming interaction and augmented reality, taking a user's surroundings and making it a live part of the experience. Moreover, game design could be significantly impacted, with live scenes able to be acted out and stored in real-time rather than having to build something frame by frame within an application. According to the presenter, the tech that's been created here can "extract surface geometry in real-time," right down to the millimeter level. Of course, the Kinect's camera and abilities are relatively limited when it comes to resolution; you won't be building 1080p scenes with a $150 camera, but as CPUs and GPUs become more powerful, there's nothing stopping this from scaling with the future. Have a peek at the links below if you're interested in diving deeper -- don't be shocked if you can't find the exit, though.
Microsoft's KinectFusion research project at SIGGRAPH 2011See all photos