It seems that Microsoft wants to make up for lost time at this year’s edition of the SIGGRAPH conference, where it looks as though your mid-range or perhaps even entry level smartphone camera is capable of being transformed into a Kinect clone of sorts. Basically, the team of researchers from Microsoft Research has managed to discover a method that makes use of the ordinary 2D smartphone camera, or a webcam that sits prettily on top of your monitor, to be able to capture depth data, making it a Kinect-like device.

So far, the research team was successful in making actual working depth sensors from a modified Android smartphone as well as a regular Microsoft webcam, where both of these devices successfully tracked a user’s hands and face without missing a beat, which would prove to be a rather interesting and highly affordable hack for those who would want to come up with gesture-centric projects without having to put in too much effort.

Of course, there would be one particular area that will explore these new capabilities from an ordinary, every day device, and this would be the area of games. Can you imagine a new kind of gesture sensitive game as you gesticulate your hands in front of a smartphone?

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