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Extreme Reality's Extreme Motion uses 2D webcams for 3D motion games, we go hands-on (update: video)

Jon Fingas , @jonfingas

Extreme Reality's technology revolves around gestures, and its latest effort is to bring that movement to the masses: its Extreme Motion developer kit turns just about any off-the-shelf webcam or built-in camera on common platforms, including Android, iOS and Windows, into an almost Kinect-like system capable of tracking 3D motion. Despite missing depth cameras or other additional sensors, it's theoretically quite accurate -- the software tracks joints across the body in every frame, although it's not quite so sensitive as to track fingers.

This author had the chance to make a fool of himself in front of a laptop's camera to see how well Extreme Motion works. In short, reasonably well: while it wasn't in perfect sync, it recognized with less-than-elegant moves in a Dance Central-style demo title and flagged whether a shimmy was right on target or evidence of two left feet. Of course, this experiment was conducted in a brightly-lit hotel ballroom, where body detection is ideal, so take the experiment with a grain of salt. It's still adept enough that the developers who will have access to the (currently free) toolkit can produce motion games we'd be sincerely interested in playing.

Update: Want to see Extreme Motion in action? If you're into seeing an Engadget editor expressing himself through the art of dance, a video demo awaits after the break.

Michael Gorman contributed to this report.