I will try and keep the original post updated with the most accurate information. Please feel free to provide any information related to Kinect Xbox One here.
Wired details and demonstration on tech behind Xbox One Kinect
Gamerhub.TV details and demonstration of Xbox One Kinect
Xbox One Reveal
•Revolutionary shirt-button-detection technology(LOL)
•Revolutionary awful-lamp-accommodation technology
•Revolutionary ignore-the-game-sound technology
•Revolutionary head-tilting technology
•Revolutionary shoulder-shrugging technology
•Revolutionary punch-force technology
39TB unRAID1--53TB unRAID2--36TB unRAID3
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I'm hoping that Crimson Dragon was delayed and retooled for Kinect 2.0. Some added games would be nice. And surprisingly, Zumba may be one of the first purchases on the One for me as I enjoyed the exercise. I'm hoping UFC Personal Trainer makes a sequel for the system as it was great on the 360 but could get awfully glitchy some times as well as requiring tons of room due to having the floor exercises front to back (who ever thought of the design of having push-ups with your head near the TV and your feet as far as possible??? that meant you needed 12 feet. other games had the long exercises with your body parallel to the TV).
it looks like they addressed a bunch of nascent shortcomings of the first Kinect.
much wider field of view which means now you can have adults and little kids play together simultaneously. if you aimed the camera at the kid, a good chunk of the adult would get chopped off. if you aimed it at the adult, the kid's limbs would be awkwardly measured.
a big thing too is now the sign-in process has been streamlined and integrated at the OS-level. so now it should (we'll see how it actually plays out) easily switch between profiles. Kinect games were meant for parties and people-switching but it was a nightmare with various Kinect games because of the variety of sign-in implementation. and if you switched a lot and had new people who had never created a Kinect ID profile, it was extremely bothersome. Kinect Sports, for example, avoided the whole issue and told a party of people to divide into red and blue teams. now red team player, step up.
They should've had a proper guest account in anticipation that not everyone will have a profile. and if facial recognition is better this time around (not so dependent on good lighting), it should make switching even easier. because sometimes with the kinect v1, bad lighting would cause you to sign out and then it wouldn't properly sign you back in.
it's hard to get a sense of size from the pics I've seen. but since it's no longer tilting and the FOV is larger, I'm wondering if the better placement is now under the TV rather than above it. and from the pics, it looks like if it's still above the TV for best orientation, it's going to need a new kinect mount.
Whitten also explained how he expects the Kinect experience to be transformed on the Xbox One. "Everybody wants Minority Report to happen, they want this magical gesture experience to be really great," he said. "But with the first Kinect on 360, what is that experience like? I hold my hand out, waiting for that little circle to fill, waiting... The reason that's happening is because we don't have all the fidelity of depth-tracking with the current tracking tracking, so we need you to hold it steady for us to decide, okay, they really meant to press that."
He explained that because the Xbox One has on-board processing for the new Kinect, it is far more precise and detailed, and therefore the experience is smoother and quicker. This also applies to voice processing, which allows smarter voice commands.
"The voice-control model on the 360 is a thing called 'you see it, you say it'," Whitten explained. "In other words, when you see some text on the screen, you can say those words to activate the commend, which is cool, but it doesn't get you beyond that screen that you're on."
"With this generation, building better voice and a better cloud experience around that, I'm no longer bound by that. So I could be in the middle of watching a movie on Xbox video, and I can say 'Xbox play Halo'. I didn't have to figure out what some smart person in Redmond thought would be the right place to put it, what the right UI would be, I didn't have to know any of that. I just wanted to say where I wanted to go and have that happen. That's the kind of thing that takes it from 'This is a cool thing' to 'This is how I want to control my experience.'"
Of course, with the original Kinect Australians had to wait for years to get voice commands, owing to the apparent difficulty of teaching it how we speak. I asked Whitten if we would face a similar wait for voice control on the Xbox One.
"The reason that takes a while - and the good news is that most of that work is done, by virtue of Kinect on 360 - you literally have to teach the system how people in Australia make sounds with their vocal chords," he explained. "So it's not like asking if it understands English, it about asking how Australian vocaliser differs from a Texan, for example."
"We also need data from the type of environment it plays in. Most voice input either works very close to the mouth, or push to talk. We need the data because it's a loud living room with lots of people in it, and you have to be always listening out for a word that tells you to get ready to listen for another word. That is a tough problem, so a lot of the work we've been doing over the past few years is building those models, getting that data. Xbox One gets to take advantage of all that work that's already been done, which allows us to go faster."
Does this mean Australians will have full voice control on launch day? I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Read more: ht
I'm glad that he knows that, especially since a lot of people really don't want that experience.
If it recognizes my wife and I on opposite sides of the room with a scowl on her face and a blank stare on mine, go ahead and turn it my way because she's hacked off at me anyway.
Xbox Gamertag/PSN ID: RemoWilliams84
"I started out with nothing, and I still got most of it." -Seasick Steve
Kinect 2.0 Detailed
All new Camera Tech
The new Kinect has a 1080p video sensor compared to the VGA sensor from before. A huge improvement which allows for more accurate facial recognition with much clearer photos and video! Such clear video will surely come in handy for the all new Skype integration. They've also upped the resolution on the depth sensor allowing for more detail to be discerned such as fingers and the orientation of your limbs. All-in-all the new Xbox is processing over 2Gbs of Kinect data per second! Microsoft has also replaced the existing "structured light" method used to read depth on the original Kinect for a "Time of Flight" method that is both faster and more accurate. This method measures the time it takes individual photons to rebound off an object or person for the utmost accuracy.
The original Kinect while a revolutionary product wasn't without it's faults which aliennated some hardcore gamers. Microsoft has taken these concerns to heart and significantly improved the new Kinect to address them.
One such complaint was lag. The time between doing an action and actually seeing it on screen. The new Kinect with dedicated processing and USB 3.0 has latency of only 2 frames per second! That's and imperceptible 66 milliseconds! Most games with a controller have an average lag of 133ms with more sensitive games (first person shooters) having a response time of 67ms! That's a huge improvement! Also your actions will be updated in real-time at 30 frames per second! The same framerate as most games!
The other major complaint for Kinect was space requirements. The field of view for the new Kinect has been improved by 60%! Meaning the new sensor can see closer, wider and deeper than it ever could before. No longer should you have to rearrange the living room to play!
Microsoft didn't stop by just addressing the complaints. They also wanted to take the experience to the next level. The new Kinect can now track up to 6 people at once! It can also track each Xbox One controller due to the built-in infrared led. For example lift your controller and your character might raise his shield in-game. It will also switch the orientation of split screen games automatically according to player location.
Skeletal tracking has been much improved. Not only can it read more joints and the orientation of your limbs but also the force of your moves. Dashboard navigation will be significantly improved because now it can detect an open or closed hand. No longer will you have to 'hover' over an object to select it. A 'night mode' is built-in that can see players regardless of lighting conditions. And the new Kinect can tell your emotions (happy, sad, etc..) and even read your pulse!
Some other notable improvements are the microphone array. It can now more reliably cancel out background noise and players can use more natural speech to control it. No more guessing what commands the Xbox can understand. Just say what you want and the Xbox should do it!
Rock Band creators team up with Disney for next-gen in 'Fantasia: Music Evolved,' headed to Xbox One / 360 in 2014
The tattoo-laden, musically-inclined game developers behind Frequency, Amplitude, Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Dance Central are taking on Disney's Fantasia, this morning announcing next-gen Kinect game Fantasia: Music Evolved. Like its last game franchise, Harmonix is keeping exclusive to Microsoft game consoles with Kinect -- the game is planned for launch some time in 2014 on both Xbox One and Xbox 360.
The game is played by using both your arms to synchronously gesture in a variety of directions, with two on-screen icons indicating how to place your arms and which direction you'll be gesturing toward. Ostensibly, the game asks players to conduct various pop songs (Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" and Queens' "Bohemian Rhapsody," among others), occasionally punctuated with a push, depth-wise, for various auditory flairs (among other things). You are the sorcerer's apprentice, conducting the heavens (as it were). Moreover, the songs get remixed as you go along, with players choosing one of four musical styles to introduce dynamically as the track continues to play in the background. If it sounds overwhelming, that's because it is.
"While we can't announce any tracks beyond the five we're confirming today, there will be some classical music on the tracklist. Without saying exactly which songs those will be, fans of the film will definitely be happy about the choices."
With no movie re-release tie-in on the horizon, Harmonix is being left (mostly) to its own devices with Fantasia: Music Evolved. Disney's offering its license, and finances to support the game's publishing, but is staying mostly hands-off. Even some of the game's remixes are being handled by in-house staffers at Harmonix, including the lead of one of the studio's other (unannounced) in-development projects. We're promised a hands-on with the game at E3 which will use Xbox One tech and the next-gen Kinect, so we'll circle back on Fantasia: Music Evolved next week at the big show.
Cracking Kinect: the Xbox One's new sensor could be a hardware hacker's dream
One of the biggest upgrades to Microsoft's recently unveiled Xbox One console is the new and improved Kinect: the device now features a higher fidelity sensor, a larger field of view compared to the original, and better skeletal tracking. This could have some potentially cool applications when it comes to watching TV on your console or playing games, but, like the original Kinect, the most exciting new ideas will likely come from outside of Microsoft and traditional game developers.
In our time with the device, it could tell not only that you were moving a thumb, but which way that thumb was facing.
"The ability to measure minute movements of fingers / toes makes for some really nice possibilities for interaction," says new media artist and game designer Matt Parker. And according to Oliver Kreylos, a virtual reality researcher at the University of California, Davis, "it might just be enough to push the Kinect 2 into reliable 3D finger detection, which would open up a large new application area. 3D finger and head tracking are the most important things for me, and Kinect 1 just didn't support them well enough." On his blog, Kreylos calls the new tech "kind of a big deal."
According to music producer and Kinect hacker Chris Vik, the ability to detect individual finger movement could solve one of his biggest problems with the original sensor. "The main issue I have with using motion capture as a controller at the moment is that there are no buttons; there's no way to tell the system that you now intend to control something. There's no trigger," he tells The Verge. "If the new Kinect can successfully detect touching your index finger to your thumb, then gestural control will be much less flaky and awkward to use. This is the reason touchscreen interaction works so well, because you choose when you touch the screen to control it." One of Vik's more recent Kinect projects involved using the device to control an 83-year-old, four-story-tall organ in Melbourne.
This article (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/kinectforwindows/archive/2013/05/23/the-new-generation-kinect-for-windows-sensor-is-coming-next-year.aspx) about the upcoming next Kinect-for-Windows mentions “Microsoft’s proprietary Time-of-Flight technology,” which is an entirely different method to sense depth than the current Kinect’s structured light approach (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structured-light_3D_scanner). That’s kind of a big deal.
Given that additional bit of information, the leaked depth camera specs make a lot more sense. According to the leak, the new Kinect (“Kinect2″ from here on out) has a depth camera resolution of 512×424 pixels. This surprised me initially, given that Kinect1′s depth camera has a resolution of 640×480 pixels. But, the Xbox 360 only used a depth image of 320×240 pixels for its skeletal tracking, mostly for performance reasons. So at first I guessed that the new Xbox would again only use a downsampled depth image, and that the leaked resolution was the downsampled one, leading to a “true” depth resolution of 1024×848 pixels. That sounds nice, but read on.
But here’s the problem: the Kinect1′s depth camera is not a real camera; it’s a virtual camera, created by combining images from the real IR camera (which has 1280×1024 resolution) with light patterns projected by the IR emitter. And therein lies the rub. While the virtual depth camera’s nominal resolution is 640×480, the IR camera can only calculate a depth value for one of its (real) pixels if that pixel happens to see one of the myriad of light dots projected by the pattern emitter. And because the light dots must have some space between them, to be told apart by the IR camera, and to create a 2D pattern with a long repetition length, only a small fraction of the IR camera’s pixels will see light dots in any given setting. The depth values from those pixels will then be resampled into the 640×480 output image, and depth values for all other pixels will be created out of thin air, by interpolation between neighboring real depth values.
The bottom line is that in Kinect1, the depth camera’s nominal resolution is a poor indicator of its effective resolution. Roughly estimating, only around 1 in every 20 pixels has a real depth measurement in typical situations. This is the reason Kinect1 has trouble detecting small objects, such as finger tips pointing directly at the camera. There’s a good chance a small object will fall entirely between light dots, and therefore not contribute anything to the final depth image. This also means that simply increasing the depth camera’s resolution, say to 1024×848, without making the projected IR pattern finer and denser as well, would not result in more data, only in more interpolation. That’s why I wasn’t excited until I found out about the change in technology.
In a time-of-flight depth camera, the depth camera is a real camera (with a single real lens), with every pixel containing a real depth measurement. This means that, while the nominal resolution of Kinect2′s depth camera is lower than Kinect1′s, its effective resolution is likely much higher, potentially by a factor of ten or so. Time-of-flight depth cameras have their own set of issues, so I’ll have to hold off on making an absolute statement until I can test a Kinect2, but I am expecting much more detailed depth images, and if early leaked depth images (see Figure 2) are not doctored, then that’s supported by evidence.
From a purely technical point of view, if Kinect2 really does use a time-of-flight depth camera, and if that camera’s native resolution really is 512×424, that’s a major achievement in itself. As of now, time-of-flight cameras have very low resolutions, usually 160×120 or 320×240. Even Intel/Creative’s upcoming depth camera is reported to use 320×240, or a factor of three fewer pixels than Kinect2.
Structured-light depth cameras have another subtle drawback. To measure the depth of a point on a surface, that point has to be visible to both the camera and pattern emitter. This leads to distinct “halos” around foreground objects. More distant surfaces on the left side of the foreground object can’t be seen by the camera, whereas surfaces on the right side can’t be seen by the pattern emitter (or the other way around, depending on camera layout). The larger the depth distance between foreground and background objects, the wider the halo. A time-of-flight camera, on the other hand, can measure the depth of any surfaces it can see itself. In truth, there is still an emitter involved; the emitter needs to create a well-timed pulse of light whose return time can be measured. But since depth resolution does not linearly depend on the distance between the camera and emitter, the emitter can be very close to the camera — it can even shoot through the same lens — and the resulting halos are much smaller, or gone completely.
So is the higher depth resolution just an incremental improvement, or a major new feature? For some applications, like skeleton tracking or 3D video, it is indeed only incremental, albeit highly welcome. But there are very important applications for which Kinect1′s depth resolution was barely not good enough, most importantly finger and face tracking. Based on the known specs, I am expecting that Kinect2′s depth camera will be able to resolve finger tips at medium distance reliably, even when pointing directly at the camera. This will enable new natural user interfaces for 3D interactions, such as grabbing, moving, rotating, and scaling virtual three-dimensional objects (where the Leap Motion would otherwise be king). Reliable face tracking could be used to create truly holographic 3D displays completely based on commodity hardware, i.e., PC, Kinect2, 3D TV. My VR software could already use both of these features, if the current Kinect’s resolution were just a tad higher.
So on to the really important question: can someone like me actually use those new capabilities? Or, phrased differently, is Kinect2 as easy to use off-label as Kinect1? Or, phrased yet another way, is Kinect2 hackable? Looking back 2.5 years, it took only a few days between the original Kinect’s appearance in stores and its USB protocol having been reverse-engineered, because Microsoft “forgot” to put encryption or authentication into the protocol. Microsoft’s PR machine put a happy face on the whole incident back then, but I’m not sure they wouldn’t rather have kept control.
How Kinect's brute force strategy could make Xbox One a success
With the May 21 announcement of the Xbox One, Microsoft faced the ire of its most traditional fans and a skeptical press. The company's policies on used games, always-online concerns and the paucity of games in the presentation put it into a public relations hole from which it will try to emerge with a flurry of announcements at next week's E3 media briefing.
At Monday's E3 presentation, and in the coming months, I think many will be reminded of how persistent and effective Microsoft can be. Let me show you, in particular, what happened the last time Microsoft launched a game device to an unconvinced public. When you see how much the company was able to accomplish through sheer force and money, I think you'll have a new appreciation for what it will bring to bear as the Xbox One launches.
The Original Kinect
When Microsoft launched Kinect in November 2010, the company was pushing a line that made many traditional game players uncomfortable: "You are the controller." After the industry had struggled with, and was finally abandoning, Nintendo's Wii and its novel motion controls, why would any developer or publisher buy into a new control model which didn't even include buttons, directional pad, or joystick?
But Microsoft managed to bring most third-party publishers to its side, presumably with lots of cajoling and more than a little cash. The results of Microsoft's push are pretty astounding.
For example, look at the following figure which shows how many retail Xbox 360 titles were released in the U.S. during each calendar year since the system launched.
After three years with releases between 141 and 146 titles, the Xbox 360 saw its release slate jump by 40 titles to 186 titles in 2011. That's the first full calendar year in which Kinect was on the market.
Were those 40 additional titles truly related to Kinect? You bet they were. In 2011 alone, there were 53 new retail titles that required Kinect, up from 14 launch titles that required Kinect in 2010. On top of those 53 you can add nine more titles in 2011 that included Kinect support.
Perhaps this is one fact makes the point best: One out of every three Xbox 360 games released in 2011 were Kinect-enabled.
Approximately 120 games have been released at U.S. retail with Kinect support since November 2010, almost 80 percent of those requiring Kinect. (The PlayStation Vita has a retail library less than half that size, and has been out for more than half of Kinect's lifetime.)
This isn't just a software story, however. The story of Kinect is really about launching a new platform. In round numbers, since Microsoft launched Kinect is has shipped around 30 million Xbox 360 systems worldwide. In that same period, the company reports it has shipped 24 million Kinect cameras. If we classified the Kinect systems as a separate platform, it is now ahead of both the original Xbox (24 million systems) and Nintendo's GameCube (22 million).
Regardless, Microsoft launched a new, expensive system in the midst of an extremely challenging time for the video game industry and its success has made it an integral part of the company's vision going into the next generation. That, I believe, is the key lesson we should take from the last two and a half year of Kinect.
Look at what Microsoft accomplished in that period. It wrangled an industry in the midst of a downturn into embracing a new system, encouraged publishers to bring dozens of new titles to market requiring this new technology, and simultaneously drove up its retail sales of hardware and software. Along with the restyled Xbox 360 S model, Kinect gave Microsoft a relaunch of its system, a relaunch that some publishers treated like a brand new system launch.
That is precisely what Microsoft is going to do starting next week and through the next year, but they'll have a brand new hardware platform with far more performance and network technology behind it. They'll also have a more powerful Kinect camera to tout, and a legion of developers and publishers who spent the last two years learning ways to use Kinect in their games.
Those publishers know what happened between 2009 and 2011 in the U.S.: Software revenue on the Xbox 360 grew from $2.7 billion to $3.0 billion to $3.4 billion in those years. They should know because they were probably the greatest beneficiaries of that growth. It is a leap to say that Kinect drove that increase – I certainly wouldn't say it was all – but it would be foolish to discount that Kinect played a part.
And I say this in part because I think Kinect helped Microsoft change the public image of its video game business. Before Kinect, there was no question that Microsoft's Xbox image was heavily tilted toward male-oriented, violent, M-rated games.
But now Kinect has helped them claim some of the audience abandoning Nintendo and the Wii. Just look here, at how the Kinect business gave Microsoft a huge influx of titles rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) as either E (for general audiences) or E10+ (for everyone age 10 or older).
Looking over the Kinect push, you can see lots of titles targeting children (SpongeBob and Sesame Street) and families (The Price is Right and Wipeout). That push will continue through the coming generation, especially now that Kinect will be attached to every new console, and unlike a couple of years ago, Microsoft now has a route directly into Nintendo's more casual, family-friendly audience.
Those audiences, of course, are also the ones who will find Microsoft's push for more television programming integration appealing. That's what the May press briefing was all about.
So now we see all the pieces Microsoft has been putting together for the past few years:
- Kinect technology attached to 24 million Xbox 360 systems, and now an integral part of every Xbox One.
- Dozens of publishers and developers who have been using the Kinect technology since early 2010.
- A library of over 120 Kinect-enabled titles on the market (just in the U.S.) and scores more available on the Xbox Live service.
- A stronger focus on games for families and children, giving publishers a new outlet for their licensed titles as Nintendo's consoles struggle in the market.
- A new focus on living room integration, including television and telecommunications.
Add in Microsoft's willingness to throw millions, even billions, of dollars at what it views as an essential product, and the company is surely well-positioned to make a splash later this year when the Xbox One launches.
Remember: People were skeptical of the original Kinect, and here we are years later looking at how much Microsoft was able to accomplish with it. Now that Kinect technology is a foundational piece of the Xbox One, and everyone takes it for granted. All the negative reactions in the industry press won't amount to a hill of beans if Microsoft is able to help shape the larger public opinion of the Xbox One with all the pieces I've pointed out above.
That's the lesson of Kinect: that Microsoft is willing to change its image, court the right partners, and spend the money required to succeed.
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