User interface detects tongue movement with Kinect

I must say, the Kinect system that was introduced to the world for use with the Xbox 360 console has certainly spawned far more hacks compared to the PS Move or the Nintendo Wiimote. Today, we shall look at yet another hack, where this particular one hails from a research group at The University of Electro-Communications, as this team has managed to develop an interface that is capable of detecting tongue movement using nothing but the Kinect alone. Needless to say, this particular interface is meant for training one’s oral muscles, including the tongue, targeting those who have oral motor function disorders which affect their ability to speak or swallow. There is also a suggestion by this research group to use it as a hygienic detection method, since there is no need to attach any device to the tongue. A further explanation of the system is available right after the jump.

“First of all, the face and eyes are detected using Kinect. When both eyes are recognized, the system can estimate the position of the nose, and based on the position of the nose, movement values are obtained. The minimum movement value indicates the tip of the nose. Based on that position, the system determines the mouth area. Based on the mouth area, movement values are obtained, like before. So finally, the position of the tongue is obtained. One way of training the tongue is to move it left and right. We’ve created a shooting game based on that motion. When you stick your tongue out, a bullet is shot from the player in the middle. The bullet’s trajectory depends on which way the tongue is pointing. That’s how you aim at the targets in this game.”

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