Kinect could help phantom limb pain

A phantom limb is the perception that an amputated or missing limb or other body part is still attached to the body. The sensations, by most accounts, are unpleasant and commonly painful. Mirror therapy has been used to help alleviate some of the problems experienced by veterans, accident victims and others who have lossed limbs because of disease. A mirror box, has many limitations. Ben Blundell and colleagues at the University of Manchester, UK, thought the Microsoft Kinect gaming system coupled with an immersive 3D virtual reality environment might be able to help.

Kinect is a motion sensing input device for the Xbox 360 and Windows PCs. It is simply a webcam-style device with appropriate software that allows users to control the console or PC without needing to hold a physical game controller, mouse or keyboard: gestures (and words) are enough.

Blundell and colleagues report more details in this video and present their preliminary work at the International Conference of Computer Graphics Theory and Applications (GRAPP).

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Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.