South Korean programmer puts Microsoft's Kinect to use on border surveillance

A heavily defended border separates both North and South Korea, but the Microsoft Kinect has been modified to help out South Korea's border patrol by programmer Jae Kwan Ko. The Kinect was deployed back in August last year, which reportedly identifies objects crossing the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone). The device itself can discern the difference between humans and animals, alerting nearby outposts should the former be detected.

Ko states that the sensor will detect heart rates as well as heat in the future, which sounds as though the DMZ Kinect will be upgraded with the Xbox One version. There's not much else to the story, probably due to the involvement of national security. But this is certainly an interesting scenario for Microsoft's video game console accessory to be deployed in.

Source: Kotaku; thanks, HeyCori, for the heads up!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Well damn, Kinect: more than gaming, now helping with national security.
  • Yet another example of Microsoft empowering us all.
  • Kinect has been used in hospitals and many engineering facilities as well.  It's a wonderful piece of tech :)
  • How close do they need to be to the sensor?
  • That's why your goverment is wanting you to buy an Xbox One...
  • Sheesh, who knew the Americans were so tetchy.
  • Meanwhile, we have dumb folks out there complaining, "Kinect is stupid. Its $100 too expensive! I just wanna play games."
  • Hmmm so i think government can also use it to spy on people's homes as well
  • /tin foil hat
  • Ignorant idiot who doesn't think his mind. Why don't you research the patriot act? Why don't you read about the NSA scandal.
  • Just beacuse they can, doesn't mean they legally can ;).   They're only allowed to spy on you if they have legally reason to, and I believe a warrant to show Microsoft.  I don't think regular consumers who don't do anything wrong need to worry about that :P
  • Define wrong. There's the problem.
  • The patriot act erected after 9/11 this empowered the government to do this stuff. The only thing was that you were suspected or if they think you are involved with something
  • They allready spy us with ...Angry Birds .
  • And why would they spend loads of money watching people play xbox etc... Common Sense get some!
  • Yeah. As though Microsoft would let them, or do it for a huge fee at the least?
  • like explosives and nuclear power, any useful tool is a double-edged sword. Depends on who uses it on what.
  • Whatever it takes to keep America safe! I've got nothing to hide. If they don't get it, the hackers will. Ask visa, target, yahoo, best buy Neiman Marcus, etc.
  • ^ This.
  • But spying on us does virtually nothing to keep us safe, and it's a slippery slope. You shouldn't put so much trust in the government.
  • So what if the government is watching me? I have nothing to hide, if they want to watch me play xbox all day, well go ahead, but wait they got better things to do like i dont know.. STOP TERRORIST ATTACKS!
  • See, the problem is they can watch you after you turn your Xbox off.
  • Again, I have nothing to hide and they have better things to do than watch me wank it!
  • Why don't you go sue MS for privacy concerns. Why doesn't everyone?
  • Because MS are only obeying the law brought in by the Patriot Act. This is all so 2001.
  • Then we should all know by now who or what is all at fault with all this spying and NSA bullcrap, right? Its not ms, its not Kinect, its not Facebook. These are just scapegoats for societies own faults. No 911, no NSA!
  • Or maybe Glenn beck is watching you
  • The government have many resources to spy on anyone and everyone. You don't need worry about Kinect.
  • I hope you don't use a phone. Morse code is safest IMO.....but then there's smoke signalling.
  • And they also can with something as common as a web cam! Which by they way, has been part of laptops (lately Smarphones and Tablets) for over 10 years now!
  • The modified version does sound like the Xbox One Kinect... pretty cool!  And it shows the cool possibilties in the future of gaming as well using the device all Xbox One owners already have.  That's why they gave it a tagline 'Future-ready'.... can't wait to see what else comes.
  • Very cool use of the Kinect Technology
  • Kinect a big boon
  • I would like to be spied while shagging my hot Brazilian girlfriend. Top of the world.
  • they must be pretty dumb watching me through my xbox one doing nothing all day (what most people do while at home)boring stuff...anyways most of you people put every thing about their lifes on internet and then are scare that the government is watching?
  • Black is coming Lumia 520 in turkey I am downloading black
  • NSA spying on the DMZ now? Jk
  • Achievement Unlocked: Detected 1000 intruders
  • +1000 on that sir.  You just made me LOL'ed
  • This^
    Made my day!!
  •   Microsoft's next frontier is home security. I should be able to stream security videos from my house to my WP8 using the Xbox One (once I get one).
  • Oh the possibilities .... Oh the dumb irony
  • Kinect Tech has endless possibilities... But id like to see Kinect with array cam, long range Infrascopy for Air, Naval Survilence.
  • And here I'm yelling at Kinect to save my Skyrim progress.