What if you have a child that has Muscular Dystrophy which means that your child will eventually lose all muscle function, and if you guessed what happens when you lose all of your muscle functions, you guessed right.  Over the years muscle tone is lost at varying speeds and the patient loses the capabilities to interact with the world.  Online games, Facebook (or equivalent), and so forth are lost to the patient.  Voice input becomes difficult then impossible, finally only eye motion can be used to interact with the world.

When a concerned father told me about this problem and how he is going to do what it takes keep his son able to do collaboration.  The question is this:

Can Kinect solve this problem?  I don’t know.  If it can, it would be an inexpensive solution compared to products that use the Eye Gaze approach.  Also, it comes to mind that a video camera might be able to solve the problem, but if it requires an expensive lens then it isn’t viable for many people.  Let’s face it, Muscular dystrophy isn’t a cheap disease and families would have limited resources.  A $149 Kinect would an assume solution.  If you could use a $300 video camera, that would  be nice.  But if the solution is around $14,000, then it would be hard for a family to afford.

Keeping a muscular dystrophy patient connected with the world, as well as other types of medical patients, would be a great research project for a PhD and be a good funding candidate for funding by national governments.

Link to Kinect SDK: