Researchers at Brunel University London have hacked a Microsoft Kinect sensor to help people with Parkinson's disease overcome Freezing of Gait -- a symptom that causes the patient's muscles to freeze mid-stride, making them feel like their feet are glued to the ground or causing them to fall over.
The sensor projects a dot of lines on the ground in front of the patient, a visual cue that has been proven by research to help 'unfreeze' the muscles. The hacked Kinect sensor works in conjunction with a ceiling-mounted laser that can easily be installed in patients' homes. When the system detects an instance of Freezing of Gait, the ceiling laser projects lines onto the floor to help counter the muscle freezing. The system can also automatically trigger a video call for help.
This system goes to show that modern sensor systems can be used for more than just gaming and entertainment, but can be creatively hacked to help relieve medical suffering.