I don't see anyone bringing their Playstation EyeToy's into Swedish glaciers.....yet!
A year into the its life span, if you're still not convinced that the Kinect is going to be a major part of our lives in the near future, you must be on something. Maybe I'll restate that. If you don't think affordable depth sensing technology will be an integral part in the way humans interact with machines, you must be on something. The amount of practical time and money saving hacks that have come out within the last year have ranged from inspirational to mind blowing. The little hobby I picked up of keeping track of this sort stuff kicks so much ass I don't even know where to start.
I just cruised past an article on Wired today that was all about this student at University of California named Ken Mankoff. Ken traveled deep into a small cavern underneath the Rieperbreen Glacier in Svalbard, Norway through freezing water equipped with a laptop and Kinect in order to do some surveying. He was able to capture in dept and detailed 3D information about the cave walls and ice surfaces with this hackers dream of a wonder toy called the Kinect. The beauty behind this is that he didn't need to worry so much about accidentally smashing or ruining a $200,000 LIDAR camera. He simply wrapped the Kinect up in a waterproof bag along with a small netbook running Ubuntu and was able to reconstruct the walls of these caves and meteors in 3D.
The article in its entirety can be read here - http://bit.ly/w1ngUG