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Kinect sex – what's the holdup?

Go on. Admit it. If you own a Kinect, you've been wondering this very thing: How long until someone makes a Kinect sex game?

Microsoft's new body-tracking sensor for the Xbox 360 is one of those things that just begs for such adult speculation — especially when you see how it tracks and displays the movements of your full body in games like "Dance Central" and "Your Shape: Fitness Evolved."

The folks over at joke site MotionSwinger have already imagined the possibilities. "Get naked and jump into the world of love with your Xbox 360 and Kinect! Preorder MotionSwinger now...only $49.99!" (In case you couldn't guess, this site is totally NSFW)

Meanwhile, some wily folks have been hacking the device and getting it to do some pretty nifty stuff. So one can only imagine that somewhere...out there...someone is working on a homebrew game of virtual boom-boom.

In fact, industrious tinkerer Dan Wilcox has already hacked the Kinect to track breasts — man breasts that is.

But a real, honest-to-goodness Kinect sex game? While it's possible, it may not happen in any sort of, er, appealing way any time soon.

Kyle Machulis, a robotics engineer, sex-tech expert and the blogger behind Slashdong (NSFW! Duh!), has been giving Microsoft's device a good groping and has come to the conclusion that while Kinect sex and the use of the device in the making of and watching of pornography may be possible right now, it probably won't be particularly enjoyable to behold.

Here's a bit of what he had to say (with some mild editing):

So what can the Kinect bring to sex? Well, probably not a good real time rendering of your (male genitals), or strap-on, or really any genitalia in a usable way for pornography. Why? Because that’s not really what it was made for. Microsoft put a ton of work into making the Kinect track the human body as a whole, so you can play games by jumping and running and generally acting the fool and feel like you’re in the game instead of just sad. Genitalia, for the most part, are not a major geometric feature of the human body when taken in perspective of physical size...Neither are they normally used in the control of video games, be they rated (for all) or (for adults only).

In his blog post, Machulis takes an in-depth look at how Kinect detects and translates movements of the human body and the short comings involved when X-Rated imagery is the goal. He summarizes:

In short, porn is about sex, but for many customers it’s also about being able to see the sex in a way that doesn’t make you think 'Wait, why does her arm detach completely when her boob is in front of it' or 'why does he have a penis shaped hole in his stomach.' The pattern the Kinect uses to get depth data is made for picking up full bodies to control video games, and therefore isn’t quite so good at picking up minutiae about those bodies.

Ultimately, however, Machulis knows what we all know: None of this will stop people from trying.

"I bet we’ll see Kinect porn and possibly Kinect Skype services within the month," he writes.

Thank goodness we have something to look forward to.

(Thanks to CNET for the heads up.)

For related news, be sure to check out:
Kinect's five most ridiculous moments
Kinect games will wow you ... mostly
Gamer down! Kinect injuries are here

Winda Benedetti writes the Citizen Gamer column  for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things right here on Twitter .