Xbox Kinect: Exercise or injuries in the making?

Posted: July 29, 2010 in hardware, technology
Tags: , , ,

Kinetic Energy:  n. The energy possessed by a body because of its motion, equal to one half the mass of the body times the square of its speed.

Kinetics:  n. the study of human bio-mechanical movement.

Xbox360 and new Kinect may be a great way to get you off your hiney and moving, but I have to wonder if the typical person in their typical living room or tv room is going to start experiencing injuries such as shin-splints from all the bouncing and jumping around?

You may have heard about this project before when it was named Natal.  Microsoft dropped that name and changed it to Kinect.  If you haven’t already heard about this little add-on for existing and new Xbox360’s go check it out. We’ll wait right here for you.

Basically you get to swing your arms and legs and move you body similar to the way you would if actually participating in the sport or event that you are playing virtually.  I know what you are thinking, didn’t the Wii already do that?  Yes and no, the Xbox version uses no controllers at all, so at least the flying controller problem that plagued early adopters of the Wii won’t be an issue.

It says it will work with existing older model XBox360’s but i’m sure will work better with the newer model that was just recently released (xbox360 250).  Regardless though, many people who have their gaming consoles in the basement or other rooms may be in for a little soreness from the unforgiving concrete or standard rigid floor.  Even with a little underpad and carpeting, most people don’t wear shoes in the house so you lose that protection that you would get when actually playing the sports or doing the activities outside.

Is the next step in home entertainment/media rooms going to be a combination of soundproofing and media capabilities as well as flooring suitable for exercising such as sprung floors?  Well, maybe for some, but I suspect most will just suffer along with the rigid floor and the occasional soreness, stiffness and stubbed toes.

Much like the Wii, the Kinect has potential to get the aging and sedentary of us off the couch, but hopefully doesn’t create a whole new category of ailments.  “Xbox-kinect-syndrome”.  It may be a great boon for the physiotherapists and makers of custom orthotics out there though.



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