It’s June and your new years resolution is probably sitting on the floor next to an empty bottle of Coke. My guess is, at best, you figured in order to work out regularly and lose some weight, you went out and purchased yourself a new Xbox outfitted with the largely touted Kinect. I’ve spoken with countless people who refer to playing their Kinect as their “work out” for the day. I won’t lie, it sounds a lot more appetizing than heading to Cardinal Fitness to spend an hour on the Eliptical. But does it work?
The Kinect sensor is a 30-centimetre-long bar that perches in front of your TV and connects to an Xbox via a cable. The device has cameras and sensors that allow it to scan the area in front of the TV and track players’ movements in real time. The technology behind it is miraculous, albeit years behind what Nintendo did with the Wii. But people are biting. The pony behind the Kinect fitness phenomenon is Your Shape.
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is essentially an interactive workout program that uses the Kinect sensor to monitor how closely you mimic your virtual trainer’s actions. Seeing a digital representation of yourself on the screen next to your trainer makes it that much easier to match her squat for squat and thrust for thrust (and that much more difficult to fool yourself into thinking you were doing it right before), while tracking how many calories you’re burning.
The old adage has always been, “video games exercise your mind and your thumbs”. I suppose gamers should revel in the fact that video games now exercise the body too. Obviously, Microsoft isn’t presenting the Kinect as a viable workout solution, but it sure is a hit among smaller demographics (ie. women). But does it actually work?
After doing thorough research, the answer is maybe. The reality of Kinect is that you are moving your body, working up a sweat, and burning calories. In my book, this is called a workout. There are yet to be any significant scientific results, but many users report weight loss and other positive health benefits.
Has anyone had any experiences with the Kinect yet? I’m not sure that it will replace the normal gaming platform (or workout platform), but it does build off of Nintendo in terms of bringing in the much ignored female demographic.