Microsoft is releasing an updated Xbox One SDK for developers this month which will give developers access to more GPU bandwidth, so more performance for their games. Also there are new tools and flexibility to make games better. Xbox chief Phil Spencer tweeted this information yesterday. During the launch of Xbox One, Microsoft said that they are reserving about 10% of the GPU for Kinect and other system process. But this update for SDK is making it possible for developers to access additional GPU resources previously reserved for Kinect and system functions. Microsoft commented the following regarding the new SDK release, The additional resources allow access to up to 10 percent additional GPU performance. We’re committed to giving developers new tools and flexibility to make their Xbox One games even better by giving them the option to use the GPU reserve in whatever way is best for them and their ...

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Speaking to Develop-Online, Carl Ledbetter, Sr. Principal Creative Director in Xbox team at Microsoft revealed that Microsoft once considered building Kinect directly into Xbox One console. As the man who designed the hardware, Carl Ledbetter, tells Develop, early on Microsoft even toyed with the idea of building the Kinect into the Xbox One itself. A permanent, non-removable feature. And one of the key reasons it decided against it were based on looks. “We actually built models of that,” he reveals. “We pushed ourselves, can we put it all in one? Is that going to work? And the technology just isn’t there yet. As soon as you have something much bigger than the Kinect sensor people don’t want to put it by the TV, it’s too big.” Microsoft’s recent decision to unbundle Kinect from Xbox One console package has led to lots of discussions around Kinect’s future. But, Carl claims that ...

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UK based developer Rare Studios is the creative brain behind popular Kinect based titles such as Kinect Sports, Kinect Sports: Season Two and Kinect Sports Rivals still remains an important part of Microsoft despite Microsoft’s decision to unbundle Kinect from Xbox One. Phil Spencer recently said that the studio is independent to chose their next project and they are “evaluating what they want to do next”. Today, Eurogamer reported that Rare has experienced layoffs following underwhelming sales of Kinect Sports Rivals and around 16 people have been let go. Microsoft commented the following regarding layoffs, “At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social and interactive entertainment experiences. As part of Rare’s commitment to this goal, we have made a decision to change our development process and methodology at Rare to best support our future projects, this has led to us reviewing the skills and the makeup of our development ...

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UK based developer Rare which is the creative brain behind popular Kinect based titles such as Kinect Sports, Kinect Sports: Season Two and Kinect Sports Rivals still remains an important part of Microsoft despite Microsoft’s decision to unbundle Kinect from Xbox One. Talking to TotalXbox, Phil Spencer said that the studio is independent to chose their next project and they are “evaluating what they want to do next”. “[Rare has] just come off the successful launch of Kinect Sports Rivals,” said Spencer. “I think I’ve heard a few times from people asking about Rare – they’re in the process of evaluating what they want to do next, and we’re working closely with them to see what their new project will be. “And I’ve also laughed when people have tried to use the word, what I “force” them to do – if you’re around any independent studio, or like Rare a studio that’s ...

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Two interesting job listings from Microsoft was revealed today. One of them is from the team which created Kinect which is working on revolutionizing consumer electronic devices. Their work involves developing ground-breaking hardware, software, and experiences across computer vision, machine learning, human-computer interaction, image and video processing, networking and graphics. I guess Alex Kipman, the creative head behind Kinect is leading this project now. Microsoft is working on revolutionizing consumer electronic devices, and you can be a part of that. The group that created Kinect and profoundly changed the way people interact with technology is forming a team to change the world again! We are a growing team of expert engineers working in an agile and high-energy environment to redefine experiences by making technology disappear. We are developing ground-breaking hardware, software, and experiences across computer vision, machine learning, human-computer interaction, image and video processing, networking and graphics. Are you an ...

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We all often use a whiteboard at work with a marker in our hands. Have you ever thought of having a huge digital whiteboard which can recognize you, respond to your gestures, etc,.? Microsoft Research project ViiBoard uses vision techniques to significantly enhance the user experience on large touch displays (e.g. Microsoft Perceptive Pixel) in two areas: human computer interaction and immersive remote collaboration. ViiBoard is a system for remote collaboration through a digital whiteboard (PPI) that gives participants an immersive, 3-D experience with enhanced touch capability. ViiBoard emulates writing side by side on a physical whiteboard or, alternatively, on a mirror, through 3-D processing of depth images and life-sized rendering. Additional vision techniques, such as hand-gesture recognition, are integrated to understand users’ intentions before they touch the board, simplifying the interaction with a PPI, especially for content editing and presenting. Compared with standard video conferencing, the ViiBoard provides participants ...

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When Microsoft revealed Kinect for the first time, we knew that the possibilities with this system will be endless. Kinect is now being used in various types of setup everyday across the world from military purposes, hospitals to gaming consoles. Today is a milestone in Kinect’s journey in Healthcare world. Jintronix, which developed a Microsoft Kinect based Stroke rehab system has received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This marks an important milestone for Jintronix as well.  “We’re very excited about receiving FDA clearance, which paves the way for Jintronix to help in the rehabilitation of countless stroke victims,” said CEO Shawn Errunza. Jintronix tackles all of the issues of Stroke patients by providing patients with fun, “gamified” exercises that accelerate recovery and increase adherence. In addition, Jintronix gives patients immediate feedback, which ensures that they perform their movements correctly. This is critical when the patient ...

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Microsoft yesterday announced that they are offering a new Xbox One SKU that will not come with Kinect sensor, but starting at a lower price point of $399. While there are many speculations about this move from Microsoft, Xbox marketing head Yusuf Mehdi in an interview to Engadget said that affordability is the issue. “We have 80-plus million Xbox 360 users today who want an Xbox One, and many of them tell us, ‘For me, it’s an affordability issue. I’m gonna get there, it’s just a question of time. If you make it more affordable, then I’ll upgrade faster.’ So this is an opportunity to really make it easier for them to get there at their pace.” When asked about whether the sales gap between Xbox One and PS4 is due to price, he said the following, It’s hard to really assess the gap in sales. They’re in many more ...

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Microsoft today announced a new Xbox One SKU that will start at $399. The only difference is that you won’t get Kinect sensor with it. This SKU will be made available in all markets where Xbox One is currently on sale. First, beginning on June 9th, in all markets where Xbox One is sold, we will offer Xbox One starting at $399*. This is a new console option that does not include Kinect. For $399, our new Xbox One offering will continue to deliver access to the best blockbuster games like “Titanfall,” “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Dead Rising 3,” and the upcoming “Watch Dogs,” “Destiny” and “Sunset Overdrive.” You will also be able to access popular entertainment apps, such as Twitch, YouTube, and Netflix, as well as watch live TV and use OneGuide. Finally, you will continue to be able to use many of the unique features ...

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International Data Corporation (IDC) research firm recently released their forecast on the new packaged video game and entertainment console systems. They reported that Sony’s PS4 will emerge with the largest global installed base of any console by the end of 2016. They also predicted that Microsoft will unbundle Kinect from Xbox One to reduce the price in the market and thereby increasing the sales against Sony’s PS4. This seems to be a strange prediction given the fact that Microsoft has openly said that they have no plans to unbundle Kinect from Xbox One. There was a bright spot for Microsoft in the report, they suggested that China remains the biggest global wild card. Microsoft recently announced that Xbox One will be available in China from this September. “If Microsoft unbundles the Kinect sensor from the Xbox One console as we expect in 2015, this should lead to rough price parity with ...

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In addition to the project on mechanical keyboards that can detect gestures, Microsoft Research has also demoed another project at ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2014 related to new vision based system. This project is called RetroDepth, and this system can accurately sense the 3D silhouettes of hands, styluses, and other objects, as they interact on and above physical surfaces. The main highlight is that it can be setup using cheap and simple methods. We present RetroDepth, a new vision-based system for accurately sensing the 3D silhouettes of hands, styluses, and other objects, as they interact on and above physical surfaces. Our setup is simple, cheap, and easily reproducible, comprising of two infrared cameras, diffuse infrared LEDs, and any off-the-shelf retro-reflective material. The retro-reflector aids image segmentation, creating a strong contrast between the surface and any object in proximity. A new highly efficient stereo matching algorithm ...

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As announced earlier, Microsoft and Rare today released “Kinect Sports Rivals” exclusively on Xbox One in North America, Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand, also coming this Friday in Europe. Kinect Sports Rivals will include lots of new sports like climbing, wake racing and target shooting – or experience the re-imagined fan favorites – soccer, tennis and bowling. “Kinect Sports Rivals,” the first title to take full advantage of all the new Xbox One capabilities, including the new Kinect sensor and Xbox Live, and is beautifully rendered 1080p HD, launches today in North America, Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand, and this Friday, April 11, in Europe. More than 1.2 million people have already competed against Champions from around the world in wake racing with “Kinect Sports Rivals” Preseason since it launched last November. Now, it is time to pick up the full game and reach Elite Champion status. After you get your ...

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At Microsoft BUILD 2014, Microsoft made it official that the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor and SDK are coming this summer. Also another important announcement was that they are adding Windows Store app development support. With it, developers will be able to start creating Windows Store apps with Kinect for the first time. Kinect for Windows v2 sensor: The Kinect for Windows v2 has been re-engineered with major enhancements in color fidelity, video definition, field of view, depth perception, and skeletal tracking. In other words, the v2 sensor offers greater overall precision, improved responsiveness, and intuitive capabilities that will accelerate your development of voice and gesture experiences. Specifically, the Kinect for Windows v2 includes 1080p HD video, which allows for crisp, high-quality augmented scenarios; a wider field of view, which means that users can stand closer to the sensor—making it possible to use the sensor in smaller rooms; improved skeletal ...

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  Microsoft is working on the upcoming launch of Kinect for Windows v2. Yesterday, they shared the hardware’s final look. Sensor The sensor closely resembles the Kinect for Xbox One, except that it says “Kinect” on the top panel, and the Xbox Nexus—the stylized green “x”—has been changed to a simple, more understated power indicator. Hub and power supply The sensor requires a couple other components to work: the hub and the power supply. Tying everything together is the hub (top item pictured below), which accepts three connections: the sensor, USB 3.0 output to PC, and power. The power supply (bottom item pictured below) does just what its name implies: it supplies all the power the sensor requires to operate. The power cables will vary by country or region, but the power supply itself supports voltages from 100–240 volts. Source: Kinect blog ...

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Few days back, we reported that Walmart is now offering Xbox One Titanfall bundle for $449, a $50 off from the original price of $499. Also, the largest online retailer Amazon is now offering the same deal of selling Xbox One Titanfall bundle for $449 and it includes free shipping as well. Microsoft Store has joined this new $449 Xbox One deal club with even more incentives. Find the deals below. Xbox One Titanfall Edition: Buy the Xbox One bundle. Get Titanfall. Celebrate the future of multiplayer gaming with the Xbox One Titanfall bundle. It includes Xbox One, Titanfall, and a month of Xbox Live Gold, all for the same price as a standard Xbox One.* Limited quantities, get yours now.  Xbox Live 12-Month Gold Membership Card Save $20 when you buy an Xbox Live 12-Month Gold Membership Card with an Xbox One console. Add $39.99, regularly $59.99 Order it ...

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Microsoft Research often comes up with interesting and sometimes mind-blowing projects. A recently published Microsoft Research project called SurroundWeb is an interesting one. SurroundWeb is a 3D web browser that will allow web pages the ability to display content across multiple surfaces in a room. For example, if you are watching a car race on your TV, the current driver standings can be shown on the side next to your TV, or an Wikipedia entry of a place which you are looking on the screen and more. Microsoft is trying to project this plan with no.of use cases. Read the abstract below. We introduce SurroundWeb, the first least-privilege platform for immersive room experiences. SurroundWeb is a “3D Browser” that gives web pages the ability to display across multiple surfaces in a room, adapt their appearance to objects present in that room, and interact using natural user input. SurroundWeb enables least privilege ...

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