Apple II invented the Microsoft Kinect

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The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, was held last week in Los Angeles. This convention invites members of the electronic entertainment industry to bear witness to the innovations that will grace home computers and consoles in the coming year.

The Kinect, a peripheral released for the Microsoft Xbox 360 last November, is proving a versatile platform for playing games without any contact or manipulation of a physical controller — “Your body is the controller”, says the advertising. Here’s a recent tech demo from E3:

Although the particular application and technology of Kinect may be new, the concept is not. Thirty years before Microsoft set out to redefine gaming, Tom DeWitt had demonstrated a similar tool, Pantomation:

According to astrosmash, "The mini-computer they talk about in this video is the PDP-8/L, not an Apple II, although the system was later ported to Apple II in the early 80s."

Although Pantomation may not have made it out of the lab and into consumer applications, it’s still a fascinating (and unsurprising!) example of the potential of the Apple II to redefine history.

(Hat tip to timothy)