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Posts Tagged ‘Kinect’

Kinect for Windows V2

Well, it’s on the way! If you began to drool at the thought of being able to use the Kinect module bundled in with the Xbox One on your desktop computer, you probably won’t have much longer to wait. Microsoft recently revealed Kinect for Windows V2 and it’s an exact replica of the one paired to their games console, with a few external changes. Development kits have already been shipped to developers working on applications that use Kinect V2 and apparently people are very excited for the camera’s release.

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The more the video game industry changes, one thing remains the same: there will always be third-party peripheral manufacturers who make a living selling questionable console add-ons to members of the public who may not know any better. Remember the ton of Wii Remote accessories that turned your controller into a plastic tennis racket or golf club? What about that inflatable boat for use with Kinect Adventures? Oh wait, you didn’t know that was a thing? Yeah, that was A THING.

We’re heading into a new console generation, and that means peripheral manufacturers get to try their luck once again. Enter company PDP: they’re selling a TV mount for Xbox One’s Kinect camera that features a “privacy cover”. All it is a moulded piece of plastic that you slide over the Kinect camera lens. Ta-da! You are now safe from the America government and diabolical advertisers harvesting your personal information to power their moon-based doomsday devices. Or whatever it is companies use personal information for.

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Over the weekend, during a marketing and advertisers conference, Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi was misinterpreted by an attendee. Unfortunately that attendee (who opted to remain anonymous) was then picked up and quoted by advertising publication Advertising Age. According to an article run by the publication, Kinect for Xbox One will allow Microsoft to harvest personal data to sell off to advertising agencies. It was described as the “holy grail in terms of how you understand the consumer in that 360 degrees of their life.” Naturally, people went wild and the whole debate about Kinect spying on households kicked into high gear.

This isn’t the first time people have talked of such things; this originally cropped up when the Xbox 360’s Kinect sensor first hit the scene.

Needless to say, Microsoft has gone into damage control mode to reassure gamers that in fact no, Kinect on Xbox One will not be spying on you. Well, unless you ask it to.

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If this catches on, then maybe you really will be shooting your friends in the face when playing future Call of Duty multiplayer games.

Microsoft has revealed that the new obligatory Kinect camera that comes bundled with every Xbox One console will be powerful enough to scan your face for use in games. In addition to being able to produce Kinect masks of your face, Kinect will be able to scan your BMI (Body Mass Index – in other words how fat or skinny you are) for in game characters. Basically, if the game supports it, you’ll be able to import your own face and body geometry into games.

Whether or not this becomes a thing will depend on developers. Microsoft has confirmed that the feature is a system-level one, which means that all developers will have access to the facilities to make use of this particular Kinect feature. It’s quite a neat proposition – hopefully devs run with it.

Source: IGN

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This nugget of interesting information is courtesy of an anonymous Microsoft employee who took to Reddit to take part in one of the website’s AMA sessions. Despite the fact that the powers that be at Reddit have verified this anonymous person’s claims of working at Microsoft as an app developer for the Xbox One, there’s no real way to know for sure. Basically, you’ll just have to trust the Reddit moderators on this one.

When asked what was considered to be the most under-appreciated aspect of the Xbox One, the supposed Microsoft employee pointed towards the company’s second iteration of their motion sensing Kinect camera.

“The majority of the masses care only about the console. Except that the success of the Kinect carries much more weight to us. The sensor costs almost as much as the console to make.”

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Alright so this is a cool feature coming to Xbox One: thanks to the fact that everyone is going to have Kinect installed when they buy a shiny (and matt) new Xbox One console, you’ll no longer have to spend 15 minutes fumbling about an onscreen keyboard as you enter a sting of random digits and letters to unlock gated game content. Be it a CD Key, DLC code or One Time Online Pass, they’re a pain in the backside to input and haven’t ever prevented a game from being pirated anyway.

In the future, your Xbox One games aren’t going to come with those dumb codes; they’ll come with QR codes or similar that you’ll just hold up to Kinect so that the content gets automagically unlocked on your Xbox LIVE profile.

Apparently, Microsoft has loads more interesting little innovations to share with people in the months leading up to the console’s release. See, this is the kind of stuff that wins console wars! Alright, maybe not, but you’ve got to admit it’s a cool feature because those codes – man, they’re awful.

Via: Polygon

A patent filed last year by Microsoft has recently come to light. It’s the most diabolical patent I’ve ever read about. It’s for a “content presentation system” that makes use of a device with an RGB and depth camera – yes, in other words: Kinect. Basically, the system is designed to allow content providers (for example: Netflix or other digital providers) to assess who is watching their content, and then “regulate the presentation of content on a per-user-view basis.”

According to the filing: “Content is distributed to consuming devices, such as televisions, set-top boxes and digital displays, with an associated license option on the number of individual consumers or viewers allowed to consume the content. The limitation may comprise a number of user views, a number of user views over time, a number of simultaneous user views, views tied to user identities, views limited to user age or any variation or combination thereof, all tied to the number of actual content consumers allowed to view the content.”

Basically, if Microsoft gets this application going (and I doubt they will find a willing audience so it’s unlikely) then Kinect could block you from watching certain movies under certain circumstances. Perhaps you hired a film, but the license you rented only allows for two people to watch the film simultaneously; you have three friends over, Kinect counts four people in the room and therefore blocks you from viewing the movie you paid for. Yep, looks like Randy Marsh was on to something when he bought that Blockbusters.

Source: Kotaku

Microsoft’s Kinect has been receiving a mixed bag of opinions and reviews from many journalists in both newspapers, magazines and online media. While a good idea, the general feeling is that the poor support in games and that rather nerdy way of issuing voice commands in Mass Effect 3 to your support team should only be left to idiots. Like the Move, a lot of people only see it as something for kids to play with, like the Wii.

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You know, I really love Kinect; not as a gaming peripheral, but for all the other cool stuff people are using it for. Microsoft has just demoed a shopping trolley that sports a tablet-like screen and a Kinect sensor right where you’d normally stick a screaming kid. Given the choice, I think I’d take the screen and Kinect.

It is very much a concept because, well, I can’t see many shops opting to spend this much money on shopping trolleys. It is, however, a totally neat concept because it’s slathered in science-fiction awesomesauce.

The trolley is motorised, meaning it’ll dutifully follow you around the shop like some well-meaning astromech droid. Instead of R2 like chirps and squeaks, it’ll actually be able to talk to you and mark stuff off your shopping list the moment you place things in the trolley. It’ll also add the contents of your trolley to your store account, thereby negating the necessity for cash checkout desks and all that revolting queuing ordinarily associated with a visit to the grocery store. Hit the jump for all of this in action.

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While many older gamers and Star Wars fans look on at the impending Kinect Star Wars game and cry, there’s no denying that this latest trailer for the game is really clever. It’s clever because it appeals to old-school Star Wars fans by playing on one of the most iconic scenes from A New Hope.

The flip-side of this clever trailer is that it also highlights what the game is not: a Kinect-enable Force Choke simulator, which, let’s face it, would be infinitely cooler than a Galactic Dance-off in Jabba’s Palace.

Oh, and ten points for you if you can spot one of the actors from the original movie; ten “Hyper Star Wars Geek” points, which we all know are the best kind anyway.


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