Toyota shows Kinect-controlled Smart Insect concept car

Toyota Smart Insect EV

Toyota has shown off a new concept car which includes onboard Kinect sensors at the CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) trade show in Japan.

The compact concept is called Smart Insect, is fully electric and includes gull-wing doors that utterly fail to syphon any of the Mercedes 300SL’s legendary cool. The most curious additions, however, are the two Kinect sensors built into the roof of the car – one facing forward, one facing backwards.

The Microsoft hardware allows the car to recognise its owner based on face and body shape, allowing for keyless entry. It even predicts  what the owner intends to do by analysing movement, allowing it to open the doors automatically on approach, for example.

While there are no current plans for production, it’s an interesting off-the-shelf use for Microsoft’s motion-sensing device and demonstrates just how comfortably motion control is embedding itself in wider society. And if people are happy to control their car doors with Kinect, it might just make the idea of playing games with it more appealing to them too.