The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo previewed a new exhibit recently, and if it is successful there might be a bright future for the Kinect after all.

With reports of the Xbox 360 console being “phased out” in Japan due to sluggish sales figures, the future of Microsoft’s most recent video came console was put into jeopardy. This exhibit, which simulates what the future may bring in an innovative and hi-tech way, may have found a more practical use for Kinect software besides sports games in your living room.

But enough about the Kinect, let’s talk about this exhibit.

As Destructoid explains, this whole thing is rather impressive. The demo starts off with you getting an entrance AR card, walking in and take a stroll around town. You then have to ability to become a citizen of the city, and then learn more about the place by interacting with up to 61 different inhabitants and the environment. Things they envisaged that would be in the environment involved items from many categories, including wearable computers and robotwear for clothes; plant factories and taste/smell displays for food; regenerative energy for fuel, a drug delivery system regarding medical treatment, and for traffic — one-man helicopters.

It sounds like a video game, but with helpful, real-world application.

This project is called “The Shape of Life in 2050”, and is essentially a simulation of what some Japanese scientists will think life will be like, and allow you to interact with a 120m sq city they created, called “Itookashi City.”

How it works

In keeping with the video game theme, any decisions you make in the demo affect the world around you…sort of like how the Sims games work.

If this project is successful, hopefully this technology is used in more areas…this could be beneficial for students to use in order to learn about the world, the consequences of their decision-making, and so on. It would definitely have a future in the conservation/”green” movement.

Destructoid mentions that no video samples of this immersive project exist, so we only have pictures to help understand what it’s all about. Click here to view an extensive photo gallery of the project in action.


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