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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NSA, USA’s Surveillance Agency is now helping UK’s Surveillance Agency GCHQ in intercepting and storing the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, revealed secret documents obtained by The Guardian. The project called Optic Nerve,  started as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012. “Face detection has the potential to aid selection of useful images for ‘mugshots’ or even for face recognition by assessing the angle of the face,” it reads. “The best images are ones where the person is facing the camera with their face upright.” The report also revealed that lots of sexually explicit content was also collected and GCHQ struggled to keep it away from the eyes of its staff. Sexually explicit webcam material proved to be a particular problem for GCHQ, as one document delicately put it: “Unfortunately … it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts ...

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Very few launch games on Xbox One supported 1080p 60fps support. Many critics pointed out that the lack of enough hardware power was the reason behind the less frame rate games. Microsoft always denied this fact and it seems they are correct. In an interview to gamingbolt, Rebellion Games’ Jean-Baptiste Bolcato revealed that their upcoming game WWII shooter Sniper Elite 3 will run comfortably at 1080p. He revealed that the upcoming SDK update from Microsoft has improved the frame rate situation. Will the process become easier over time as understanding of the hardware improves? “Definitely, yeah. They are releasing a new SDK that’s much faster and we will be comfortably running at 1080p on Xbox One. We were worried six months ago and we are not anymore, it’s got better and they are quite comparable machines. The Xbox One is a bit more multimedia, a bit more hub-centric so its ...

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We have seen many different fields in which Microsoft’s revolutionary Kinect was being used, this one is quite different. Microsoft’s Kinect is now being used in Korean border by the military to monitor the demilitarized zone. If there was any human intrusion, Kinect will automatically notify the army men about it. Even though the current implementation uses first gen Kinect, they are now planning to upgrade to Xbox One Kinect which will able to detect heart rates and heat maps for more accurate tracking. Self-taught South Korean programmer Jae Kwan Ko developed a Kinect-based software system to monitor the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), which separates the two countries. It was deployed at the border last August, but its existence wasn’t made public until recently. According to news site Hankooki (via tipster Sang), the Kinect-based system identifies objects crossing the DMZ. It can discern the difference between animals and humans. If the ...

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Last June Microsoft announced that it would be hosting a limited, exclusive developer preview program for Kinect for Windows v2 prior to its general availability in the summer (northern hemisphere) of 2014. And two months ago, Kinect for Windows v2 Developer Preview kits were shipped to thousands of developers in the program from London to Tokyo. Since the demand was high, Microsoft created 500 additional developer preview kits for the Kinect for Windows sensor and SDK. The program was open to professional developers, students, researchers, artists, and other creative individuals. You only have 2 more days to apply for 1 of the 500 spots in the program. Selected participants will get a Beta device before we officially launch the new sensor next summer. The program fee will be US$399 (or local equivalent) and offers the following benefits: Direct access to the Kinect for Windows engineering team via a private forum and ...

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Similar to what Microsoft did during the Xbox One launch, Microsoft now allows you to customize a letter to your girl friend/wife to buy an Xbox One. Message from Microsoft, You’re about as excited as a puppy with a new chew toy to get your very own, but there’s a little snag. Someone in your life hasn’t heard about the new generation in games and entertainment. Don’t worry. We got your back. Simply make your case and fill in the blanks below. With your explanation (and a little sucking up), they’re bound to agree Xbox One will be a great addition to both your lives. Here is the letter,   Source: Xbox ...

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Today Microsoft has started delivering the delivering Kinect for Windows v2 Developer Preview kits to the programs thousands of participants.  The Developer Preview includes a pre-release Kinect for Windows v2 sensor, access to the new generation Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK), as well as ongoing updates and access to private program forums. Participants will also receive a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor when they become available next summer (northern hemisphere). Microsoft is making the Kinect for Windows sensor and SDK available early to qualifying developers and designers so they can prepare to have their new-generation applications ready in time for general availability next summer.  The new Kinect for Windows v2 sensor will feature the core capabilities of the new Kinect for Xbox One sensor. Real Vision Kinect Real Vision technology dramatically expands its field of view for greater line of sight. An all-new active IR camera enables it ...

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One of the most comprehensive features of Microsoft Xbox One is the ability to control your system via voice commands through Kinect. For now, the supported system commands are limited. You have to use the following commands for system control and each apps will have their own voice control commands which will be listed on screen guide. Gameinformer compiled the list as below, System Commands Xbox on – Wakes up Xbox One, turns on television and cable/satellite set-top box Xbox turn off – Puts Xbox One to sleep/off, can turn off television and cable/satellite set-top box Xbox – Shows menu of global voice command options and begins listening for the next command Xbox select – Shows voice command options for everything on the screen that are supported. Shows channel shortcuts during full screen TV viewing Stop listening – Stops Kinect from listening or cancels voice commands if Kinect is triggered ...

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  Israeli news site Calcalist today reported that Apple has bought PrimeSense, the technology that powered the original Kinect released by Microsoft. During the release of original Kinect, Microsoft said the following on PrimeSense, “PrimeSense has delivered an important component to the technology, helping us deliver revolutionary controller-free entertainment experiences in the living room.” However, the current Xbox One Kinect is fully engineered by Microsoft. PrimeSense is the leader in 3D sensors and it already powers over dozen of natural interaction products in the market. They claim that their technology is already powering more than 24 million devices around the world. According the report, Apple bought PrimeSense for over $345 million which I think is a great deal. If Apple is planning for a media console, PrimeSense could become the technology powering it. Also PrimeSense is already developing 3D sensor chips which can be embedded in smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc, ...

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