My Super Secret Kinect Project

What I’ve Been Working On

Between Imagine Cup, writing apps and games, developing tutorials, speaking at Web Camps, doing university visits, and just generally keeping busy, I’ve been working on a real doozy behind the scenes and I will be doing a tutorial series at some point.

kinect fridge

I present to you: Kinect Fridge.

This elegant solution combines two of humankind’s most beloved and revolutionary devices. The first makes everything cooler. The second is a refrigerator.

The design that end users will be seeing is deceptively simple: a stainless steel refrigerator with a Kinect firmly mounted on top and attached to a small desktop computer which is welded to the rear of the refrigerator and plugged into the closest wall outlet or extension cord run from another area of the kitchen.

The Kinect device sits from up on high, watching you, judging you. Which brings me to the next question: What purpose does the Kinect Fridge actually fulfill?

Who is Kinect Fridge for?

I’ve designed the features available in Kinect Fridge for several different subgroups of the population that meet the following characteristics or possess these personality traits:

  • People who are on a diet or other nutritional plan
  • Busy moms who can’t afford to create grocery lists
  • People who who are itching to plug a Kinect into dang-near anything
  • People who have run out of Apple products to buy
  • Centaurs


Key Features of the Kinect Fridge

The Kinect fridge is designed to make your everyday life easier and more fun, although nobody’s actually sure if that will happen. What will likely happen is you will show your friends, who will say “cool,” and then ask you for a frosty beverage from within the Fridge component of the device. However, Kinect Fridge, coupled with its automated door and facial recognition technology, can make that scenario a little more interesting.

Kinect Fridge is Social.

With realtime connections to Facebook and Twitter, your fridge is instantly more secure and more fun.


Facebook Integration

Integrate with friend lists on Facebook to create individual- or group-specific Access Control Lists. Kinect Fridge uses facial recognition on-the-fly anytime a new person approaches it. It takes a photo plus IR scan of the individual approaching the fridge, and then uses the innovative facial recognition technology from Windows Live Photo Gallery to determine who that person is based on the hundreds of available Facebook photos of your friends, which none of your friends were told to protect in any way.

Based on this information, coupled with the access control lists you’ve created on Facebook, Kinect Fridge automatically knows whether or not to grant access to the refrigerator, or whether to sound an alarm if a certain food item is touched or removed, similar to the system used in hotel mini-bars.



Twitter Integration

What is the deal with all these “I’m eating a sandwich” tweets? It’s amazing how much effort goes into tweeting about what you’re eating. With Kinect Fridge, you don’t even need to lift a finger as you remove that quart of thawing ice cream – the world will automatically know.

The fridge also allows you to set dietary ranges for caloric intake as well as specific foods you should not be eating. If Kinect Fridge catches you pilfering something you shouldn’t be, it will embarrass you publicly, and everyone knows that guilt is an effective mechanism for weight loss (not evaluated by FDA)

gross tweet

Realtime Fitness Detection

The Kinect Fridge keeps a log of your appearance over time. Based on its Suggestion setting, Kinect Fridge will grant or deny access to certain food types based on weight loss or weight gain. The suggestion setttings are as follows:

  • Athletic Diet – Full access to most foods, but if you start putting on the pudge, Kinect Fridge will start hiding your pudding behind the carrots
  • Weight Loss Plan – Kinect Fridge will sound an alarm if you reach for a nasty snack more than once per day. If only nasty snacks remain, Kinect Fridge will lock itself and display “BUY VEGETABLES” in the status indicator. Upon returning from the grocery store, Kinect Fridge will examine your wares and criticize you for having impulse-bought those Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. You cannot fool Kinect Fridge.
  • Maintenance Mode – Kinect Fridge will grant you access to foods that allow you to maintain your general shape.


Innovative Architecture

The Kinect Fridge’s advanced technology is concisely built with unique modular design and a straightforward, well-thought-out architecture that allows for future growth. This product is only in its beginning stages and we envision so much more growth with this product and more.

Click to enlarge

Architecture copy


Even with the simplistic proposed architecture of the Microsoft Windows Kinectbox On-Premise Refrigeration Station Home & Small Business Edition 2011, it will take some time to get this product fully ready for market. I anticipate it will be ready either April 1st, 2012, or April 1st 2013 depending on how 2012 goes.

By the way, happy April 1st, 2011. Some people need to be told these things…