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Thursday June 9, 2011 11:43 am

Nyko Zoom lets you stand closer to Kinect

Nyko Zoom

One of the biggest complaints with the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 is its space requirement. For the depth-sensing cameras to function properly, Microsoft recommends a good eight feet between the Kinect sensor and your body. That's a lot of space, especially for all the apartment and dorm room dwellers out there.

Nyko might have fixed that problem with the Zoom, a surprisingly simple and affordable Kinect attachment that seriously cuts down on its need for room.

The Zoom is a wide-angle lens attachment that fits over the Kinect, changing how it sees the room. With a wider angle, it can see more laterally, but doesn't have as much depth. According to Nyko, this means the Kinect needs up to 40 percent less space than without the Zoom. Because it's just a set of lenses that fit over those on the Kinect, it doesn't need any power or complex installation; it just slides on.

The Nyko Zoom will retail for $29.99 when it ships later this year.

I tried out the Zoom for a few minutes at Nyko's booth. The good news is that it seemed to reduce the space needed for the Kinect, depth-wise. The bad news is that the wider lens means it's much more sensitive to people accidentally dropping in from the sides. Bystanders kept making the Kinect think another player was joining in when they were standing to the far side of the screen. Of course, your home isn't very likely going to have dozens of video game industry professionals walking through your living room when you're playing.

This article, written by Will Greenwald, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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