A simple modification on the Kinect opens up numerous possibilities for hands-free communication among the disabled.

Twelve years ago, Chad Ruble's mother suffered from an unfortunate stroke that left her with aphasia, a delicate disorder that makes it impossible to use devices that require tactile motion, such as a keyboard, but does not remove intelligence or cognizance. To help his mother communicate via email, Ruble hacked a Kinect to create a virtual email interface and send emails using gestures alone; all his mother needs to do is wave her hand at the screen to select basic emotions and motion to send to a friend or family member, or delete a message received.

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