The Kinect was originally developed as a gaming peripheral but has ended up getting most of its attention from outside the gaming industry. Depth sensing, skeletal tracking, facial recognition, and spatial microphones all require a huge amount of technical skill to develop. One major issue in the development of the Kinect was teaching the computer to see and track skeletons, and this is where Jamie Shotton steps in.
By applying machine learning to the problem, Jamie Shotton was able to assist the Kinect team. Even though the Kinect did not revolutionize console gaming, the technology used and created to make the hardware possible is very impressive. So impressive that the MIT Tech Review awarded Shotton with an award as a part of their Innovators under 35 award. Other huge names in tech have received this award such as the founders of Google and Facebook.
Growing up in the UK, Shotton was introduced to coding on the BBC Micro. Working in software research has been a goal for a while because he likes the exciting buzz of working in a lab on emerging technology. To Shotton, technology has the power to enable people to do more and machine learning show great potential to do just that. From digital personal assistants to self driving cars, machine learning will change the way we live and work. Today, Jamie works on Handpose which uses Kinect to track hand motion down to the millimeter.Further reading: Kinect, Microsoft, Microsoft Research, MSR