It was only a matter of time, but Japanese developer, Fumi Iseki, and his team at Tokyo University have developed a way to stream real time animation from Microsoft’s Kinect to Second Life. In the Second Life Open Source developers group, he posted a link to the video demonstration:
“Hello everyone. We are developing the system of real time animation on SL with Kinect. Please see http://www.nsl.tuis.ac.jp/xoops/modules/x_movie/x_movie_view.php?cid=2&lid=33. Is this interesting?”
The answer is, “Hell yeah!” The video on the linked page shows a demo of a person using Kinect, which appears to stream in real time to a group of poseballs or attachments in Second Life. Previous Second Life-Kinect hacks have been very rudimentary, specific movements activating certain gestures or keystrokes (ie: instead of hitting Page Up to fly, you would raise your hands), but this seems to provide real time movement of the avatars that would appeal to the masses.
The demo shown is hacked locally through the viewer, meaning no one else would be able to see it, according to Fumi, “This is local Viewer only. For synchronize on network, modified of a server is required.”
Meaning for Second Life to take use of the Kinect, Linden Lab would have to release an update to the Second Life server code that would allow avatar animation to be streamed in real time. Presumably, a stream of animation data would be much like a stream of any other data, such as audio or video, and performance would be based on how much available bandwidth you have to receive or upload the stream of data.
Nevertheless, this opens up the door to a whole new world of possibilities for Third Party Viewers, Open Sim, and hopefully, Second Life.
If you are interested in this project you can follow its wiki which is still under construction at http://www.nsl.tuis.ac.jp/xoops/modules/xpwiki/?SLKinect.