US Army and Air Force consider Kinect for therapy of wounded veterans

Microsoft is hoping to find ways to use the Xbox 360 Kinect peripheral to aid military veterans in need of physical therapy, reports Defense News.

"Microsoft is committing R&D and marketing resources to ensure that the [Defense Department] community is aware of the capabilities of the product, as well as the breadth of our partner community, which includes the system integrators," said Microsoft director of public sector solutions Phil West. "The targeted scenarios include therapy-related functions, but they also span training and simulation, interactive user interfaces, and so on."

Microsoft has paired the Kinect with specific software to be used in-home by injured soldiers needing therapy. This type of treatment requires a lower maintenance cost, and veterans that do not live near an army base facility can now seek treatment comfortable in their home.

The company is currently working alongside the US Air Force to outline how the therapy will be set up, and has plans to discuss the required technology with the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center of the US Army. Current interest in this type of treatment also extends to the Army Medicine division, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and the Navy's Bureau of Medicine.

Microsoft is also exploring ways to use the Kinect to treat post-traumatic stress disorder by connecting patients in different locations for group therapy sessions.

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