Xbox Kinect camera now monitors Korean DMZ

3 Feb 2014

Korean DMZ photo via Wikimedia Commons

Xbox’s camera and facial recognition device, Kinect, will soon be scanning one of the tensest borders on earth with the addition of one of the devices on the Korean DMZ.

The South Korean government has placed the gaming equipment on the border between North and South Korea to identify objects and people who may try to cross the border illegally.

According to South Korean news website Hankooki, the Kinect device has been secretly placed at the border for a number of months now but it has only now become public knowledge.

Despite the Xbox One not being available in the country yet, South Korean programmer Jae Kwan Ko looked at the device’s software and developed a program specifically catering to its use as a border patrol tool.


The Xbox Kinect: An unlikely weapon in the continuing tensions between North and South Korea

According to reports, the exact way the device is able to discern between human, animal and any other border-crossers is still unknown due to the obvious high levels of security surrounding the incredibly-defensive state.

The system is expected to be upgraded soon to include the detection of heartbeats but Ko has said that when he tinkered with the Kinect’s software, he never had imagined its new use: “”I’ve never even thought of a game system performing national defence tasks.”

How long before the border guards will be ordering, “Kinect, kill intruder”, remains to be seen.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic