Bumping an old thread since Kinect is finally available. Some notes that make this thing an absolutely incredible candidate for home automation usage.
1) Price point, $150USD
2) Heat sensing capability
3) True noise cancelling microphone
5) Pan/Tilt functionality
6) Laser scanning
Okay, so I picked one up at launch at midnight last night and got it home, I'm extremely impressed with it, and immediately saw the use cases in home automations. Yes it's closed source, but so was the wiimote and it's now functional on Linux so really only a matter of the right people showing interest in it as a hackable device/toy. The base itself has pan/tilt functionality built in, there is a laser that scans the room and adjusts the angle of the camera as necessary to track whoever is detected as the player in the room. (think security) There is a microphone on board with proper noise cancelling built in, and an on board camera. (think security and phone) From what I can tell the laser is also being used to determine depth of objects within the room. From the setup shots, it also appears the device has heat sensing capabilities built in as well, though I have not confirmed this yet. Last but not least, it is USB.
So what do you guys think? I see a GSD driver in it's future once things start progressing, seems a very cheap way to get phone and security features added to a room. $150 is cheap for a launch price when you consider what we'd pay for equipment separately to get the identical functionality....plus you're stealthy, an intruder won't realize it's a security camera....it's just a Kinect sensor (they will probably steal it though, but then you just get a nice up close shot of their face)