Microsoft Kinect is creating quite a revolution in the field of Natural User Interface. The low cost 3D depth camera like Kinect opens up infinite possibilities in our computing world. Sign language is the primary language for many deaf and hard-of-hearing people, but currently it is not possible for these people to interact with computers using their native language. Microsoft Research Asia has developed a system using Kinect which can detect sign languages used by these people and it works well. Here are some info on the project, Kinect, with its ability to provide depth information and color data simultaneously, makes it easier to track hand and body actions more accurately—and quickly. In this project—which is being shown during the DemoFest portion of Faculty Summit 2013, which brings more than 400 academic researchers to Microsoft headquarters to share insight into impactful research—the hand tracking leads to a process of 3-D motion-trajectory ...

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Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Xbox (and possible replacement for Mattrick?) confirmed that the Kinect on the Xbox One will be able to scan QR codes, including pre-paid Xbox Live Cards.  Hopefully the days of punching in 25 digit codes are a thing of the past. To my reddit friends — yup — this works! http://t.co/QHnOPZqib1 — Marc Whitten (@notwen) July 1, 2013 Source: Twitter ...

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Microsoft has addressed controversy regarding the Kinect always listening to what is being said in the room.   You are in control of what Kinect can see and hear: By design, you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup. The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.   You are in control of when Kinect sensing is On, Off or Paused: If you don’t want the Kinect sensor on while playing games or enjoying your entertainment, you can pause Kinect. To turn off your Xbox One, just say “Xbox Off.” When the system is off, it’s only listening for the ...

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Ars Technica recently sat down with General Manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms Matt Booty to ask some questions about the Xbox One and cloud computing.   Booty  what “latency-insensitive computation” support from the cloud for the Xbox One means exactly. “Things that I would call latency-sensitive would be reactions to animations in a shooter, reactions to hits and shots in a racing game, reactions to collisions,” Booty said. “Those things you need to have happen immediately and on frame and in sync with your controller. There are some things in a video game world, though, that don’t necessarily need to be updated every frame or don’t change that much in reaction to what’s going on. One example of that might be lighting,” he continued. “Let’s say you’re looking at a forest scene and you need to calculate the light coming through the trees, or you’re going through a battlefield ...

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Microsoft today announced that next generation Kinect for Windows is coming next year. The new Kinect is capable for recording 1080p videos with advanced CMOS sensors that can record color images upto 30fps. A new Kinect for Windows sensor and software development kit (SDK) are coming next year followed by the release of Kinect sensor with Xbox One later this year. Some of the key capabilities of the new Kinect sensor include: Higher fidelity The new sensor includes a high-definition (HD) color camera as well as a new noise-isolating multi-microphone array that filters ambient sounds to recognize natural speaking voices even in crowded rooms. Also included is Microsoft’s proprietary Time-of-Flight technology, which measures the time it takes individual photons to rebound off an object or person to create unprecedented accuracy and precision.   Expanded field of view The expanded field of view accommodates a multitude of differently sized rooms, minimizing ...

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Dr. Ram Ramamoorthy, Assistant Professor, who heads the Robust Autonomy & Decisions Lab at the School of Informatics in The University of Edinburgh has developed a Humanoid robot which can play “Rock-scissors-paper” game using Artificial Intelligence. Reports suggests that it will take on humans and can make out the opponent’s strategies as it plays. As reported by TOI, Rock-scissors-paper is a hand game usually played by two people, where players simultaneously form one of three shapes with an outstretched hand. The rock beats scissors, the scissors beat paper and the paper beats rock. If both players throw the same shape, the game is tied. The robots which are approximately two-foot-high are programmed in such a way so that it can able to recognize the hand gestures performed by humans using Microsoft’s popular motion-sensing input device “Kinect“ which is primarily developed for the Xbox 360 video game console and Windows PCs. Apart ...

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Microsoft today released its Kinect for Windows SDK for v1.7. The updated SDK brings in support for Kinect Fusion and many updated APIs, Samples, and DLL Details. Regarding Kinect Fusion, KinectFusion provides 3D object scanning and model creation using a Kinect for Windows sensor. The user can paint a scene with the Kinect camera and simultaneously see, and interact with, a detailed 3D model of the scene. Kinect Fusion can be run at interactive rates on supported GPUs, and can run at non-interactive rates on a variety of hardware. Running at non-interactive rates may allow larger volume reconstructions. Download it here from Microsoft. ...

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Technet reports that the Kinect has found a use outside of simply games. Alex’s place, a Miami clinic treating children with cancer and blood disorders, is using the gadget to run interactive screens to entertain and distract children, and also help with their assessment. "As soon as they walk in, technology is embracing them," said Dr. Julio Barredo, chief of pediatric services at alex’s place in The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Health Systems. Created by Snibbe Interactive, Character Mirror’s goal is to help reinforce patients’ mind-body connection with engaging play and entertainment, as well as to potentially reduce their fear of technology and the treatments they face. As an added benefit, nurses can observe a child’s natural range of movement during play and more easily draw out answers to key diagnostic questions. "I find the gestural interactive experiences we created for alex’s place in Miami among the ...

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We are pretty used to Kinect being used in motion capture of gross motions like that of limbs, but EPFL Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory has now also managed to extract fine facial motions from the camera data. The technology called Faceshift pulls data from the camera and uses a predictive model to match the stream with facial expressions.  The company has already released an SDK targeted at animators and game creators and the company is already awaiting the next version of the Kinect, which will allow even finer and more accurate expressions to be captured. Read more about the technology at Faceshift.com here. Via The Verge.com ...

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Coca Cola is running a great promotion in Korea, where they have a high tech vending machine rewarding good dancers with free cokes. Passers-by in shopping malls are challenged to repeat the moved of South Korea’s ultra popular boy band, 2 PM, and their success is measured by a hidden Kinect camera. The closer you come to perfection, the more likely you are to win a free Coke. The challenge seems to be drawing the crowds, if the video is anything to go by, and the machines may make their way to other locations, so look out for the beckoning dispenser in your local mall. Via Inquisitr.com ...

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Elliptic Labs has demonstrated new technology which will bring touch screen control to laptops without the need for a touch screen, or even touching the screen. The Kinect-like system uses ultrasound and multiple microphones, and offers a wide field of view and better responsiveness than Microsoft’s system, and could be integrated into tablets and smartphones in the future. "The really big difference is you can do a lot of things with Windows 8 much more naturally," Morhan Kjolebakken, product manager for the company said. The app debuted with control gestures for Windows 8, but the company is also offering a SDK for developers and manufacturers to integrate the technology into their products. The device is expected to hit the market in 12-14 months. Via CNET.com ...

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Although rumours of the integration of finger tracking in the Original Xbox 360 Kinect were seemingly just rumours, Kinect users expect the feature to be included in future Windows devices. Microsoft researchers are attending the User Interface Software and Technology symposium to advertise their new invention- Digits, which is a wrist-worn sensor which accurately tracks finger movements- meaning there is little to no lag, which also requires no gloves.  However, the motion capture device is not being used for games. The inspiration for Digits stemmed form the Kinect, because Microsoft desired to create ‘natural 3D interactions with bare hands’, although the Kinect was slightly too limited to do this in the way in that it is not mobile and does not have the precise detail required to track the motion of individual fingers.  To realize their plans, Microsoft created a wrist-mounted device which includes an infrared camera and laser to ...

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Microsoft has revealed plans for an updated version of the Kinect for Windows runtime and software development kit, which includes support for Windows 8 as well as virtual-machine environments that run Windows. Arguably, the most impressive feature of the Kinect for Windows is the updated SDK, which enables colour camera settings and extended depth of the technology’s 3-D skeletal tracking capabilities to distances of greater than 4 metres, and objects as close as 40cm in front of the sensor, without any loss of accuracy or precision.  The sensor’s infrared stream is exposed in the API, therefore developers would be able to use IR when calibrating other colour cameras to the depth sensor or capturing grey-scale images in dim-lighting.  Moreover, the Kinect for Windows sensor now works when running in VM environments, available from: Microsoft, VMWare and Parallels. "Running inside of a VM will mean potentially the ability to be used ...

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OmniTouch allows interactive multitouch applications  on any everyday surfaces, whether its a wall or a notepad or even hands, arms or legs!  In addition to the projection system being depth-sensing, there is no instrumentation of the user or environment, allowing it to be used by anyone in any environment with no hassle. Furthermore, a wide variety of interactions are enabled- so you can ‘click’ or hover your fingers over the interactive area to command the OmniTouch.  The technology is being developed by Microsoft Researcher Andrew Wilson who will be demonstrating it live during the Verge Show (as shown below). It is clear that the technology needs much miniaturisation, but with smartphone based Pico projectors one can imagine this interface could eventually find some application in the real world. Via research.microsoft.com ...

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Kinect for Windows team today announced that the Kinect for Windows hardware will be coming to China on Oct-6th and will be available in six additional markets later this fall: Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, and Poland. Also the team is releasing Kinect for Windows SDK update with the following enhancements on Oct-6th. Enable businesses to do more with Kinect for Windows We are committed to opening up even more opportunities for the creation of new end user experiences. We’ll be adding features such as expanded sensor data access—including color camera settings and extended depth data—to continue to inspire innovative uses of the Kinect for Windows technology in new and different places. Improve developer efficiency We continue to invest in making our platform easier and more powerful for developers. That’s why we’ll be releasing more tools and samples in October, such as a new sample that demonstrates a “best ...

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Microsoft today announced a permanent price drop on Kinect sensor for Xbox. The new reduced price will be $109.99 in US. There will be also a permanently reduced price in North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific regions where Kinect is sold. On October 4, the Kinect sensor will be available for a permanently reduced price in Australia and New Zealand. Microsoft also specifically mentioned that there will be no price drops in EMEA and Japan regions. With the sales of the whole gaming industry in general is falling down, price drops of this kind should boost sales to some level. Source: Major Nelson ...

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