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South Koreans Using Kinect To Monitor DMZ 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the state-game dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "The South Korean government is reportedly using Microsoft's Kinect motion-based game controller to monitor the heavily guarded DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) that separates the country from North Korea. The brainchild of freelance South Korean developer Jae Kwan Ko, the system is reportedly capable of differentiating between people and animals. (Hat tip to Kotaku, which originally ferreted out the story from South Korean publication Hankooki .) That makes it superior to the infrared systems already in use along the DMZ, which have a harder time determining whether a moving object is human. The Kinect-based system can send alerts of suspicious activity to the nearest military outpost. While the South Korean government reportedly installed the hardware at select portions of the DMZ last year, news about it is only emerging now—and details are relatively scarce, considering how this is a military project. Despite that secrecy, the South Korean government is playing up Jae Kwan Ko's contributions, highlighting him in the local media as an example of innovation and creative drive. Largely self-taught, he makes money by building apps for various mobile platforms—most of which, presumably, have nothing to do with detecting military threats."
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South Koreans Using Kinect To Monitor DMZ

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  • Dress in your bear costume and slip across undetected...
    • Damnit, you beat me to it. This system will be no match for the infamous Seventh Furry Battalion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 03, 2014 @02:20PM (#46142655)

    Witness describe a hoard of armed men running through the DMZ yelling "Xbox OFF!"

    • The secret battle cry of the North that signifies they are coming to liberate their brothers in the South: Ree Loy Jenken!!!

    • by mythosaz (572040)

      Witness describe a hoard of armed men running through the DMZ yelling "Xbox TURN OFF!"

      FTFY.

    • by Ranbot (2648297)
      This just in... there was a follow-up raid of South Korean troops dressed up as animals to evade Kinect detection!
    • Witness describe a hoard of armed men running through the DMZ yelling "Xbox OFF!"

      Silly concept. There's no way the hoard of armed men could get out of the treasure chest in which they're trapped.

  • will the south koreans now see lines of north koreans on their borders dancing in front of the kinect sensors?

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Monday February 03, 2014 @02:25PM (#46142707)
    When the kinect won't shut up about 2 people being in front of it or won't switch primary users, we just build a small fort around ourselves with couch cushions and tada, complete invisibility. I hope the Koreans haven't developed couch cushion technology.
    • by oneiros27 (46144) on Monday February 03, 2014 @02:39PM (#46142895) Homepage

      For years people have complained about how much of an idiot security guards have to be for Solid Snake to be able to sneak around under their noses by hiding in a cardboard box.

      Now someone's actually built a system that would make it completely effective ... and they used video game controlers to do it. Coincidence?

      (conspiracy theorists can now discuss the probability that Konami paid them to it)

      • Nooooo, if Konami was behind it all, they'd line up a grid of Dance Dance Revolution pads on the border. They have some very sensitive sensors in them.
        • by Dahamma (304068)

          line up a grid of Dance Dance Revolution pads on the border

          Attached to land mines!

          • line up a grid of Dance Dance Revolution pads on the border

            Attached to land mines!

            Make sure you get those steps right; you don't want to get a low score!

  • I thought South Korea mostly welcomed people who were defecting from the north. If the North was trying to launch an attack of any significance I wouldn't expect the IR system would have a hard time identifying it.
    • by superwiz (655733)
      Crossing a border undetected is not defecting. Crossing a border and then asking for asylum from the authorities is defecting.
    • by jittles (1613415) on Monday February 03, 2014 @03:17PM (#46143247)

      I thought South Korea mostly welcomed people who were defecting from the north. If the North was trying to launch an attack of any significance I wouldn't expect the IR system would have a hard time identifying it.

      Due to incident [wikipedia.org] after incident [wikipedia.org] the Korean troops have to be very careful who they let across the DMZ.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      I thought South Korea mostly welcomed people who were defecting from the north.

      Not really, if you asked people on the streets you'd find that they'd be happier if China took their pseudo-province with them and dealt with the people there. N.Korea is effectively an entire brainwashed country, and in some cases like another poster pointed out, filled with dangerous brainwashed people.

      Not to forget that N.Korea's favorite past time is kidnapping young girls and women from S.Korea and Japan, giving them off as sex slaves to the higher ranking members of the military.

      • Not to forget that N.Korea's favorite past time is kidnapping young girls and women from S.Korea and Japan, giving them off as sex slaves to the higher ranking members of the military.

        Don't suppose you have a recent source for this claim? While N. Korea is the kooky nation in Asia, I find this claim rather outlandish.

        • by LoRdTAW (99712)

          http://lmgtfy.com/?q=north+korean+sex+trafficking [lmgtfy.com]

          Then you click search tools and change "any time" to "past year". Plenty of sources.

          • So, google it myself eh? What a half assed response. But, since I was curious I did do that. The first result is a wiki article on the topic which doesn't mention any regular kidnapping of S. Korean and Japanese women for sexual slavery. Second one is a hubpages article which also says nothing on the topic. All in all, the first page of the google search mentions N. Korean women (especially women who flee N. Korea) getting exploited, but again nothing about regularly stealing women from countries that could

    • Citizens of the North trying to go South do it through China, the Yalu River being a much easier, safer crossing. Only soldiers work the heavily mined and observed DMZ. Crossing the intra-Korean border is a really good way to get shot by either/both sides.

  • Video monitoring at a Colo is pretty standard these days.

  • What are people insects or vegetables?

  • microsoft not responsible for war

  • It wasn't Windows 8.1 sales that kept Microsoft out of the doldrums last year, they where selling X-Box/Kennect systems to the Koreans. All 20 of them.

    I KNEW it wasn't that hokey "Pay us $45/year for Office" license scheme or that Windows 8.1 sales slump that was keeping them afloat. Remember Dell went private and PC vendors all where reporting 20% decreases in sales numbers. Oh no, they where cashing in on X-Box sales.

    Sarcasm off now. What ever works, but using Kennect? Really?

    • Come on, now. There's a lot more than 20 Koreans, you know.

      • by bobbied (2522392)

        Well, Only 20 North Koreans can afford an X-Box....

        Actually, because they only use this new "system" on part of the DMZ, I figured they didn't use very many of them. Haven't a clue how many they actually used.

  • "Turn off!"
  • 1. Find a way to crash Kinect, a Microsoft product. 2. Invade North Korea undetected. ...This is obviously an attempt to have the south koreans and americans laugh themselves to death.
  • The tragic flaw being that the North Koreans won't wave to tell Kinect to recognize them.
  • I hadn't thought of this with the Kinect controllers becoming available but with this application it appears we can now build the Marine Automatic Machine Gun from Aliens!, the UA-571C! [wikia.com] Should I just Kickstart it or what?

    Just what I need to keep those pesky kids off my lawn!

    • I give you the Samsung SGR-A1

      http://www.mobilemag.com/wp-co... [mobilemag.com]

    • ... it appears we can now build the Marine Automatic Machine Gun from Aliens!

      You're about ten years too late. People have been building automatic sentry paintball guns for a long time. For example, here's [youtube.com] some footage from 2006.

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        I want live rounds.. not paintball stuff and AFAIK those are pretty much motion detectors on mounts right? This can discriminate so I could hit the specific target I'd want. We have to think out of the box here because just having an indiscriminate killing machine wouldn't be fun, right?

  • by arielCo (995647) on Monday February 03, 2014 @03:26PM (#46143353)

    It's a job for the Ananthropomorphic Infiltration Suit: http://i.imgur.com/ilwyj.jpg [imgur.com]

  • As the Korean military justifies buying video games for all their lounges.

    "En, yeah, they are in the DMZ, yeah that's right, monitoring for incursions! Oh you want to see them, well I guess you could, they are surrounded by several million landmines, but go right ahead, I am sure accounting will appreciate your diligence..."

  • by swb (14022) on Monday February 03, 2014 @03:36PM (#46143449)

    I wonder how long until they can connect it to a gun and have it automatically neutralize threats?

    It's not hard to imagine a network of sensors and guns that can be used to automatically target infiltrators and neutralize them.

    • I wonder how long until they can connect it to a gun and have it automatically neutralize threats?

      It's not hard to imagine a network of sensors and guns that can be used to automatically target infiltrators and neutralize them.

      I'm fairly certain that automated 'defense' systems violate the Geneva Conventions.

      Which translates to, "you're likely to see the US government use the system on domestic protesters long before you see it in actual combat between two nations."

    • by Kaenneth (82978)

      They have those already; they are just very expensive, COTS (Common Off The Shelf) hardware has many advantages.

      • Yesterday's 10,000 dollar specialty equipment is today's 200 dollar video game accessory. Wiimote, Kinect, wii balance board, all come to mind right away.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Probably not right away, if your goal is to kill the infiltrator then automated devices have been around for ages, search for "landmine".

  • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Monday February 03, 2014 @04:14PM (#46143809)

    what they are using is based on the same recognition semantics that the Kinect uses. bottom line: it's software that is inspired by how the Kinect works what uses their existing hardware thus saving oodles of money.

  • capable of differentiating between people and animals

    Then the north will just arm their animals as a work-around.

    You know, the Right to Arm Bears.

    • capable of differentiating between people and animals

      Then the north will just arm their animals as a work-around.

      You know, the Right to Arm Bears.

      in the north you have no rights at all.

  • But are they actually using Microsoft Windows to monitor the Kinnects? That could bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "Blue Screen of Death".

  • by will_die (586523) on Monday February 03, 2014 @06:10PM (#46144967) Homepage
    From the technical side what kind of range can the kinetic have? It is designed for a home use so 15 to 20 feet?
    If that is the case then how can they be using them in the DMZ when you would want to detect people further out then that.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't the mines do that?

  • Does anyone have any more info on what they're actually doing with these? Because it makes absolutely no sense to me. The Kinect's depth sensor has a maximum range of 6 meters, after that it's no better than a VGA webcam, and I'm pretty sure the things they'll want to identify are more than 6m away...

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