Kinect Sex: Coming Soon to a Console Near You?

Microsoft Kinect

It's practically the universal rule of electronics: Where there's technology, there's sex. Embrace it or shun it, but it's the way of the world.

Now, it looks like Microsoft's new Kinect may be the latest gadget to fall prey to prurient interests. The Kinect is undergoing a series of experiments designed to turn its motion-sensitive virtual gaming into motion-sensitive virtual mating.

Oh, come on -- are you really that surprised?

Microsoft Kinect: When Tech Meets Sex

If you want to know about the possibilities of Kinect sex, just ask Kyle Machulis. Machulis, aka "qdot," runs a site called slashdong.org (Google it at your own risk). The site, which I probably shouldn't mention by name more than once, focuses on the meeting point between sex and tech. It featured a blog this week exploring the idea of X-rated uses for Kinect-enabled Xboxes (hat tip to the crew from CNET for finding the page).

In the blog, Machulis -- who was recently cited by New Scientist as a Kinect-hacking authority -- observes how the Kinect is able to use depth in order to identify a person's body shape. He goes on to note, however, that Microsoft's gaming console really tracks the human body "as a whole," looking at "major geometric features" of a user's form. This doesn't bode well for the prospect of Kinect sex; without getting too graphic, let's just say that the primary anatomy involved in intimate relations isn't exactly a "major geometric feature." Sorry, fellas.

"The pattern the Kinect uses to get depth data is made for picking up full bodies to control video games," Machulis explains. "[It] isn't quite so good at picking up minutiae about those bodies."

Long story short, Machulis concludes that Kinect sex is going to be challenging -- but he believes someone will find a way to penetrate the mystery.

"I bet we'll see Kinect porn and possibly Kinect Skype services within the month," he predicts.

Microsoft Kinect and the Tech-Sex Trend

Microsoft Kinect Sensor

The notion of Microsoft Kinect sex, while admittedly somewhat amusing, shouldn't be entirely shocking. After all, as we said, porn and tech go -- if you'll pardon the expression -- hand in hand.

Think about all the forms of technology the porn industry has embraced and ultimately driven to success. From the pre-Internet stuff -- instant cameras, pay-per-view TV, and VCRs -- to online systems like streaming video and subscription-based Web sites, porn has arguably played an integral role in technology's evolution. My cohort Dan Tynan, being the diligent researcher that he is, painstakingly assembled a list of ways the sex industry has shaped the Web. Suffice it to say, it's no small list.

So is Microsoft's Kinect destined for an erotic future of its own? Maybe; maybe not. But whether it ends up being the Kinect or another similar apparatus (SexBox, anyone?), it seems inevitable that some sort of motion-based system will be repurposed for hanky-panky before long. As tech-sex history has shown us, when there's a will, there's almost always a way.

JR Raphael is a PCWorld contributing editor and the co-founder of geek-humor site eSarcasm. You can find him on both Facebook and Twitter.

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