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I think it'd be a blast to play Dance Central in a gaming room set up with blacklights and/or strobes. Would that actually work, or would it screw with Kinect's cameras?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The Kinect uses a couple of things to determine a person's location in a room.

  • An RGB camera, which is similar in technology to a standard webcam
  • An infrared laser projector and sensor, which helps it judge depth in 3 dimensions

Blacklights are primarily ultraviolet, which puts them at the opposite end of the visible light spectrum from the infrared laser sensor. The other sensor is primarily concerned with the visible spectrum, and probably won't respond to ultraviolet light. Therefore, I wouldn't think the blacklight would be detectable by either of the Kinect's sensors.

When it comes to strobe lights though, you're more likely to have problems. For one, strobe lighting implies that sometimes it's going to be dark, and sometimes it's going to be bright. This is going to confuse the RGB camera, as these types of cameras require post-processing to compensate for light levels. Try aiming a webcam at a window, and then closing and opening the shades while it's sunny outside, and you'll see how these types of cameras react under changing light conditions.

I don't think this type of response would be conducive to gaming, especially since the Kinect's response under normal lighting conditions is kind of picky and finicky at best.

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Not to mention your eyes work in a similar fashion, and staring at a screen with this going on in the background is going to damage the crap out of your eyes. –  Resorath Mar 30 '12 at 22:17
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