Astronauts can now keep check on their physique thanks to Kinect. And it's nothing to do with playing Kinect Sports — it's the latest hack from a team of Euopean scientists.
When astronauts head up into space, they quickly lose muscle definition. Even a few weeks in zero-g can lead to a 15 per cent drop in total body mass. To stop that, the team on the ISS spend 2 hours a day exercising.
But keeping check of your weight in zero-g is difficult. Scales, obviously, don't work. Currently astronauts weigh themselves on an old-school stool fitted with oscillating springs, though that takes up too much space on the ISS and also uses an awful lot of power:
Not for much longer, though. Because a team of French and Italian scientists have come up with a Kinect hack that lets them calculate body mass, New Scientist reports. The Kinect's depth-sensing cameras allow them to create a 3D model of the astronaut, compare it to a statistical model of 28,000 people, and predict a weight. It's 97 per cent accurate, which is comparable to the current system. But best of all, it's small, light and doesn't use much power.