Google’s Gmail Motion prank on April Fool had left many in the tech world wondering why Google, or just anybody else, wouldn’t make it real. Now it has emerged that researchers at the University of Southern California have made it real by using Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect peripheral.
They hacked into the Microsoft Kinect's motion-sensing technology and also used what they have called the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST) to create what Gmail brushed off as a prank.
No offense to the geniuses at Google, but we weren't able to get their action running on our computers... So we came up with our own middleware solution, a researcher in the ICT MxR Lab at the University said. What they created was very much akin to what Google professed in its April Fool prank - a version of Gmail that can be controlled by using body motions.
In fact, IB Times mused on April 1 if Google's prank wasn't pretty close to reality. (Read the article 'Gmail Motion: A prank in search of its creators?)
We wrote on April 1: The question is whether the prank, in time, will turn the heat on its inventors, demanding reincarnation in true form. Like, as they say, a character setting out in search of his creator. Think about Google wizards being tormented in sleep by ghoulish Gmail Motion stillborns!
If Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360 can do something ideationally very much similar, why can't Google?