Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Using your Xbox Kinect for Paranormal Investigations

You’ve probably heard of Xbox Kinect. Chances are you know at least one person who owns one, or you own one yourself. Microsoft developed the Xbox Kinect as a webcam-style add-on peripheral device that enables users to control and interact with their console or computer without the need for a controller, through a 'natural user interface' using gestures and spoken commands. Over 10 million units of the kinect have been sold worldwide. This popular gaming device isn’t just being used for video games anymore, however. People around the world have found an unexpected use for it- to detect ghosts.

Imagine sitting alone in the dark, playing on your Kinect, and having the game detect another person in the room. Floating balls of energy, disembodied hands, and even full/partial human forms have been observed while using the kinect. A number of the Kinect Ghost videos show a ghost player moving around and engaging with the system. Reports have been pouring in from around the world regarding similar unexplainable phenomenon.

How the Kinect can detect Ghosts

The Kinect uses InfraRed (IR) technology, the same technology that is used by paranormal investigators and ghost hunters. Infrared light is a wavelength of energy that is invisible to the human eye. A common source of this energy is heat. Current theories regarding the makeup of ghosts suggest that they are a form of energy that manifest by drawing energy from matter that produces heat such as humans or electronic devices. IR then detects these elevated levels of heat and they can than be seen on devices that use IR technology, such as the Kinect.

"Ever since the release of the Kinect motion sensor controllers in 2010, gamers have been posting videos of 'Kinect Ghosts' detected by their Xbox 360. The Kinect prompts you when a new person is in the room, a phenomena dismissed as a glitch by most users if they're alone. However there are hundreds of videos on youtube of not only 'someone not there' being detected, but these 'ghosts' also using the motion controller to operate the system." - League of Occult Research & Education (LORE)

Even Hollywood has noticed this phenomenon. One of the most frightening scenes in the fourth Paranormal Activity horror film is where the Xbox 360 Kinect detects a ghost in the dark room. Prior to this scene coming out in this movie, franchise gamers around the world had been posting videos of their Kinect detecting 'ghost players'. In the film, the characters use night vision to see what the Kinect is seeing, and sure enough, gamers had to test it out for themselves to see if in fact the Kinect could be used to detect a ghost.

The Kinect 2 - More Sensitive Than an Ouija Board

The Kinect 2 for the Xbox One can locate and track multiple players in a pitch black room. The first generation motion sensor technology was upgraded with advanced Infrared (IR) sensor technology that is so sensitive it can even monitor your heart.

Ghost hunters can use the Kinect 2's 3D depth mapping feature to capture every object in a room, even in total darkness, and then monitor their gaming console to watch what goes on in that room during the night.

If an object moves it can be recorded in HD video. If a 'phantom' entity, from the size of a critter to an adult, is detected the system will track its location and movement within the environment mapping it with a stick figure outline.

Ghost Adventures, and other paranormal investigation shows, have since discovered the advanced features of the Xbox One Kinect 2, using it in their haunted investigations. Before making its way to being in the prime time, the Xbox 360 Kinect 'Skeleton Tracker' feature was being used by amateur ghost hunters around the world to document hauntings and apparitions.

Officially the folks in Redmond Washington who developed the Kinect at Microsoft dismiss any 'ghosts' as glitches caused by improper configuration or setup by the user. However, anyone who has ever played a Kinect game knows that the system is far from fool proof, and more likely to not detect someone, versus detecting someone who is not there. It is this experience that warrants further investigation into the Kinect ghost phenomena.

Occult Theories that May Explain the Kinect Ghost Phenomena

The ghost phenomena 'captured' with the Kinect could be described as invisible 'kinetic energy' or 'kinesis' that's responding to its environment. This is of course the root word from which the name Kinect has been coined. Kinect is a portmanteau of the words 'kinetic' and 'connect'. Kinetic, means energy derived from movement, and the word has its roots in the Greek word κίνησις (kinesis) meaning motion. Movement or kinetic energy that occurs without touch - that is controlled by one's mind or an outside invisible force - is called psychokinesis; literally, 'mind movement'.

Instead of a ghost or invisible entity that is being captured by the Kinect is it possible that it is the psychokinesis ability of the human user that has been detected? The Kinect is already training children, in some cases for hours a day, to control avatars on the screen with just their mind and body motions. Occultists and scientists point out that such activity will train the synapses in the brain to fire and wire differently when compared to someone who uses a traditional game controller device.

While reviewing some of the videos of the 'kinect ghost' phenomena the ghost effect occurs when the child looks away from the screen, from their avatar, into the physical room. Is it possible that their focal energy and physical movement that is being translated into the onscreen avatar is somehow picked up by the Kinect when that focus is placed not on the screen but inside the room?

Psychokinesis, or PK for short, is the scientifically controversial 'ability' to manipulate objects or the environment without physical interaction. There have been many historic experiments to try and determine if PK is a real phenomena. In many ways the Kinect controller can be seen as the realization of a sort of 'PK for the masses', since the controller works by allowing one to interact with their virtual environment without touching a remote control.

So what do you think? Does the Xbox Kinect have a lot of glitches within the system, or do you believe it’s really picking up paranormal activity? Would you use your Xbox Kinect to connect with the dead?

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