Kinect Hack Turns Any Surface Into a Remote Control

April 25, 2013 | Andy Cush

It’s about time this insanely powerful new technology was employed in the service of helping lazy people be lazy. Like an image plucked from the dreams of Homer Simpson, this Kinect hack turns any surface in your home into a remote control. Using the Kinect’s depth sensing camera in conjunction with a projector and voice detection, WorldKit allows you to swipe your hand over a surface to pinpoint  it, then say out loud what you’d like to control. The projector will then place DVR buttons all over your coffee table, or alarm clock dial on your bedroom wall, and send control data to the device in question.

Developed by Chris Harrison at Carnegie Mellon, the system is fully operational but won’t be publicly available for another five years. See a few applications of WorldKit–which extend way beyond simple TV volume and channel controls–in the video above.