Items tagged with kinect

Microsoft is hoping a $40 price cut to its Kinect motion sensor for the Xbox 360 console will encourage more people to shake and gyrate to a growing catalog of supported games. The reduced price represents a 27 percent savings over the previous MSRP, and according to Microsoft, this isn't a temporary promotion. "The new permanently reduced price will be $109.99 in the U.S.," Microsoft stated in a blog post. "There will be also a permanently reduced price in North America, Latin America, and Asia Pacific regions where Kinect is sold. Additionally, on October 4, the Kinect sensor will be available for a permanently reduced price in Australia and New Zealand." Microsoft didn't say why it lowered... Read more...
A leaked presentation from circa 2010 has the tech world buzzing. The original document and mirrors have been pulled, but we saved a copy before that happened. While there's no confirmation from Microsoft on whether the document is accurate, it lines up extremely well with what we've seen Microsoft announce so far this year, as well as previous speculation on the company's next-gen Xbox 720, codenamed Durango. At 56 pages long, there's quite a bit of data -- we'll hit the most salient points. Future Platform Hardware - The slide below doesn't explicitly call out AMD's architecture, but other slides have a "Radeon" logo in the corner; a not-so-subtle hint at who's providing the GPU. Xbox 720 High... Read more...
Several folks have spotted a Microsoft patent application for technology that would target advertisements based on a user’s emotions. In reading the first lines of the patent, it seems as though tracking a those emotions would be done through monitoring a user’s online activity--such as Web browsing, the content of visited websites, emails, IMs, and more--and analyzing the content. As invasive and creepy as that sounds, bear in mind that because of social networks and other online interactions we engage in, we already receive targeted ads all the time. (Frankly, it's kind of nice sometimes to see an ad for, say, NFL Sunday Ticket instead of one for denture cream.) Besides, it’s... Read more...
E3 is well underway in Los Angeles, and Microsoft has already made a major splash with its "SmartGlass" technology, game demos, and its announcement that a Kinect-powered version of Internet Explorer will debut on the Xbox 360. This is a marked change from last year, when Kinect was the unquestioned centerpiece of Microsoft's display and the company's demos focused on how Kinect-powered games used your full body as a controller. This year, the biggest titles being shown, like Splinter Cell: Blacklist, FIFA 13, and Madden 13, have focused their implementations on adding voice control, giving players the ability to call commands or instructions without navigating tedious menus. That's a significant... Read more...
Cash strapped gamers who would rather avoid paying a large upfront fee for an Xbox 360 console can take advantage of a subsidized offer that has Microsoft charging $99 for a 4GB game console with Kinect and Xbox Live Gold membership, provided you pass a credit check and agree to a two-year service agreement at $15/month. The previously rumored deal has been confirmed on Microsoft's website, and we have some concrete details to share. Let's have a look. The subsidized offer is only available in one of Microsoft's 16 stores, meaning you can't march into your local Best Buy and demand a sales associate sell you an Xbox 360 console for a Benjamin. If you do happen to live near one of the Microsoft... Read more...
There's been a lot of chatter the past few months about what Microsoft's next-generation Xbox might look like, as well as repeated speculation that the device could tip up at the upcoming E3 Exposition. According to the head of Microsoft Corporate Communications, Frank Shaw, the company is flattered by the rumors but has no plans to launch a new console generation this year. “While we appreciate all the interest in our long-range plans for the future, we can confirm that there will be no talk of new Xbox hardware at E3 or anytime soon,” Microsoft’s Corporate Communications boss Frank Shaw told AllThingsD. “For us, 2012 is all about Xbox 360." Sales figures show that the... Read more...
With all the recent discussions of future consoles from Sony and Microsoft, we've decided to tackle one of the most significant questions--should future consoles be upgradeable? Historically, console add-ons that boosted the performance of the primary unit haven't done well. Sega's Mega-CD and 32x additions to the original Genesis both failed; Nintendo's attempt to boost the performance of the N64 through the use of a RAM expansion pack saw only a limited amount of success. Any attempt to upgrade a system's core performance risks bifurcating the user base and increases the amount of work developers must do to ensure that a game runs smoothly on both original and upgraded systems. Sega's 32X expansion... Read more...
As promised, Microsoft has released Kinect for Windows. You may recall that Steve Ballmer announced Microsoft's plans at CES to ship Kinect for Windows on February 1st. Now, that day is here, and Microsoft is making good on its promise. With version 1.0 of the SDK and runtime, you'll get full support for up to four Kinect sensors that are plugged into the same computer. You'll also get improved skeletal tracking, support for Near Mode for the new Kinect for Windows hardware, the latest Microsoft Speech components, and other tweaks and fixes. The suggested retail price for the Kinect for Windows hardware is $249; Microsoft plans to offer special academic pricing of $149 for Qualified Educational... Read more...
It didn't take Microsoft long to realize that they had more than they bargained for with Kinect. While originally intended only for use with the Xbox 360, the motion sensing device soon found a home with PC hackers. After first rejecting the notion, Microsoft soon changed their tune and began to embrace the hackerspace. Earlier this month at the company's CES keynote, Steve Ballmer officially unveiled the Kinect for Windows package, which will be fully compatible with Windows PCs and enable hackers to do nearly anything with their Kinect, so long as there's a PC and USB port nearby. Now, The Daily is reporting that the Kinect could soon be coming to notebooks and other portable computers. It's... Read more...
Readers probably don't need any extra encouragement to stay plopped on the couch this summer, but Microsoft is providing some anyway. The company has just launched Avatar Kinect and Kinect Sparkler this week, tucked into the Kinect Fun Labs on Xbox LIVE. Avatar Kinect captures facial expressions and voice so when users smile, nod or speak, your avatar does the same. Players may invite up to seven friends to join in on 24 imaginative virtual stages; discuss the latest celebrity gossip or news on the Talk Show Stage, try out a hysterical comedy routine on the Performance Stage, or wager who will win the big game in the Sports Party Stage. The Kinect sensor can record a session with a... Read more...
The next proving ground for Microsoft's Kinect? It might not be where you expect. After taking over the living room and exciting gamers across the world, the Kinect has made the move to all sorts of other categories. Everything from making music videos to PC-based hacks have been seen, but for the most part, nothing on a professional level has surfaced. That's all changing now, as the Kinect slides over into the operating room. Doctor's at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, Canada are hoping that the Kinect could soon help them out during sophisticated surgeries. Basically, they're looking to get real-time data feedback without using a mouse; with Kinect, you could simply use it... Read more...
There's good news, and bad. The good news is that a new Nyko accessory (the Zoom) will be shipping on August 23rd, and it aims to reduce the amount of room you need for Microsoft's Kinect to pick up moves effectively. As it stands, you need around 10' of space for it to work properly. But the Zoom cuts down on that space requirement by zooming in, in theory, and modifying the Kinect bar via a hardware add-on. That probably sounds great for those who live in 1-bedroom apartments, but here's the rub. Microsoft isn't endorsing it. In fact, the company's making a slight case against it. Reportedly, Microsoft has come out to say that they won't support any modification to the Kinect sensor bar, despite... Read more...
At Google's I/O Conference this year, the company claimed that their Chromebooks would actually improve with time, as Google pushed out speed and security updates that the end-user would benefit immediately from. It's not often that you purchase a product that eventually gets better, but Microsoft is claiming that the Kinect is actually now more accurate than at launch. According to Xbox senior product manager David Dennis: "I think like we showed at E3, like Kudo [Tsunoda, creative director for Kinect] showed with Kinect Fun Labs--a lot of that tech is the advancements we've made in the accuracy, the tracking...being able to show finger tracking in the Sparkles demo he did. You saw too with... Read more...
Video game industry analyst Michael Pachter has a reputation for accurate sales forecasts and an ability to predict changes in console pricing. That said, Pachter may have gone a bridge too far with his bifurcated discussion concerning Nintendo's Wii U. While he praised the Wii U as "the most impactful reveal of the show," Pachter has declared the Wii U brand unimaginative and implied it qualified as a "worst ever." The real criticism, however, is reserved for Nintendo's hardware decisions. "We think that Wii U is arriving two years late, given that the other HD consoles already have peripherals for movement," said Pachter, reasoning that since Nintendo didn't get specific about tech specs, the... Read more...
Games, games, and a few more games. It's E3! While Nintendo has stolen the show thus far being the first of the Big 3 to introduce a new at-home game console, Microsoft's continuing the push the Xbox 360 to new heights. They're announcing a ton of new games, most of which are laced with Kinect support, in order to drum up interest in a console that's starting to show its age a bit. Of course, the Kinect has given new life to the 360; it has become something else entirely now that you can control it by waving your hands around. This year, Microsoft showcased a host of new exclusive  titles on Xbox 360, including “Gears of War 3,” “Forza Motorsport 4” and the world... Read more...
Nintendo unveiled its second-generation Wii console today, dubbed the Wii U, but said very little about the console's specifications. The company confirmed that the new system will support HD video, but devoted its press conference to discussing the Wii U's controller. Rumors that Nintendo would incorporate a touchscreen proved accurate, but the controller is more tablet-based than we expected it to be. The display is 6.2" wide and features dual analog controllers, two shoulder buttons, and a standard four-button layout to the right. One of the intriguing features of the Wii U is that titles can be transferred from the TV to the controller's display without needing to restart the game. This frees... Read more...
Here's the thing about motion controlled gaming. It's fun, in a gee-whiz sort of way, but once the newness wears off, you're left with what some (many?) gamers would consider nothing more than a gimmick. Is that the case with Microsoft's Kinect platform? It's too early to tell. Initial sales have been promising, and it certainly helped that Microsoft made sure there were no less than 17 compatible titles available when the Kinect launched, ensuring you could jump around and shake your rump to new graphics once you got tired of doing so in Dance Central or Kinect Adventures. Perhaps if Microsoft can ensure its catalog of Kinect titles keeps growing, gamers will continue to buy into the concept... Read more...
One of Google's 2011 April Fools' Day pranks was the so-called Gmail Motion feature, whereby you could control Gmail using full-body gestures. Many noted at the time that this could probably be done using Kinect, and viola: it's done. Built by the In fact, it was done by the same crew that developed a way to control World of Warcraft using Kinect, the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. The group called their earlier development FAAST, for Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit, so naturally they called this one SLOOW for Software Library Optimizing Obligatory Waving. Perhaps the best gesture is "licking a stamp" to Send an email. They said: This morning, Google introduced Gmail... Read more...
The latest snarky Kinect hack is this one, by The Technology Studio. The company took a Kinect unit and the Puffersphere, a spherical display by Pufferfish. Basically, they were able to create the Eye of Sauron, from Lord of the Rings. The eye even follows you around the room as you move. Considering that Sauron was supposed to be all-seeing, it's a cool adaptation. Watch it below.... Read more...
Well, this doesn't happen every single day. Microsoft's Kinect was just awarded a Guinness World Record for being the world's fastest consumer electronics device ever. Just let that sink in a bit. What makes this feat even wilder is just how well so many devices have sold in the past. iPods, Nintendo consoles, CD players. The list goes on and on. But the Kinect obviously grabbed the attention of the modern gamer and hasn't let go. The company has sold a total of ten million Kinect sensors worldwide, and as if that wasn't enough, they've also sold ten million standalone Kinect games worldwide. It's a big Kinect party, and you're invited to take it to 20 million. In a wave of celebration, there... Read more...
In mid-January, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that the Kinect motion-capture gaming controller would come to the PC, officially that is, "at the right time." Microsoft appears to have decided that the right time is Spring 2011. In an official blog post on Monday, Feb. 21, Microsoft said that the Kinect SDK for Windows will be available then. Microsoft's post acknowledged that the community that has arisen since the introduction of the Kinect has demonstrated the "depth of imagination possible when people have access to ground-breaking technology." It will be a non-commercial Kinect for Windows SDK, but a commercial version will be released "later." The non-commercial version will be free.... Read more...
OK, so a Roomba robotic vacuum is, by it's very nature, hands free. But what if you wanted to direct it now and then, but still, heaven-forbid, touch it? You can give it a Kinect hack interface. So it is with this demo video by "Ogutti." Is this a practical hack? Maybe not. Entertaining and cool? Yes and definitely.... Read more...
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