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Kinect Hacker Unwittingly Spoofs Windows Media Center

Developer uses Kinect to navigate Windows 7 Media Center via hand gestures. Is this a skit from "Saturday Night Live?"


Navigating Windows Media Center with your hand via Kinect. The only thing missing is a laugh track.
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Microsoft gave up on Windows Media Center almost two years ago, and we should really just get over it. But the neglect of the once-vaunted platform continues to tug at the heartstrings.

Now comes Evoluce, a German multitouch development firm that illustrates the sad state of WMC in a new mockumentary called “Windows 7 gets ‘Minority Report’ Treatment.

In the YouTube video, a user navigates Media Center using gestures. One hand waves around like a mouse, while the other hand pushes to “click.”

In this way, the user can navigate through a photo collection or TV programming guide or other Media Center offering using nothing but gestures.

Wait, you don’t get the mockery? Maybe the message is just too subtle if you’re not a lapsed WMC devotee.

The joke is that the biggest development in WMC in the last two years—ever since Microsoft added “Friends” to the Internet TV lineup—is a Kinect hack that turns your hand into a virtual mouse. To emphasize the ridiculousness of this “triumph,” the developer of the hack demonstrates this simple application for a painful 4 minutes and 35 seconds.

At the end, when the demo gets to map navigation, you think you’re in for a big treat – something like the equivalent of pinch-to-zoom. But, no, here again you can only navigate the virtual mouse to the ZOOM icon, and then click to enlarge.

Hilarious, don’t you think? You can use a Kinect to control a Roomba, but you can’t do anything interesting with Windows Media Center?

Kudos to the folks at Evoluce, for creating a demo fit for SNL, even if that wasn’t the intention. The only thing missing is the laugh track.



  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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