‘Hackers’ bring GMail Motion to life with Kinect sensor

It’s been about three days since Google’s GMail Motion prank for April Fools Day, and someone has already created a working version of the joke product.

If you missed it, Googlers demonstrated a GMail function that allowed for controlling the service via gestures rather than typing. (The funniest bit was the “preview” of Motion for Google Docs with people acting out a pie chart.) Using “computer’s built-in webcam and Google’s patented spatial tracking technology,” the service was described as a fun and challenging physical activity:

Using Gmail Motion is not only safe but also healthy and fun. As with any physical activity, certain precautions are recommended. First, make sure to clear the area around you. Second, try to take short breaks every 30-40 minutes, just as you would if you were typing. And finally, take time to stretch after each session to give the muscles you’ll be using some relief.

Some dudes at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies have actually hacked it into reality with a Kinect sensor, as seen in the video below. The guy in the video explains:

This morning, Google introduced Gmail Motion, allowing users to control Gmail using gestures and body movement. However, for whatever reason, their application doesn’t appear to work. So, we demonstrate our solution — the Software Library Optimizing Obligatory Waving (SLOOW) — and show how it can be used with a Microsoft Kinect sensor to control Gmail using the gestures described by Google.

The gesture in the above pic? To send an email, he mimes licking a stamp and slapping his knee:

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