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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Microsoft today detailed the Internet Explorer experience for Xbox One. Internet Explorer for Xbox One comes with support for modern web standards like HTML5 and CSS3, so all your websites should look the same as in desktop. With Xbox One you can navigate the web with your voice, use gesture input with Kinect, grab an Xbox One controller, or pick up a companion device with the Xbox SmartGlass app. Finally, any pinned sites or favorites you saved in Internet Explorer on your Xbox 360 will be pulled forward to your Xbox One. Apart from web standards support, Microsoft has also added feature like website pinning, multiple tabs, inPrivate browsing, SmartScreen, Cookie blocking, and Do Not Track. As you expect, IE supports snap mode in Xbox One as well. As it is a Xbox One app, it supports voice and gesture as well. Hands off Xbox One features brand new support for ...

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This is really impressive! Major Nelson today posted a short video showing how Xbox One can power up and log in your voice command. In just 13 seconds, Xbox One was able to power up and log in to the home screen. First, it listened to your voice command through Kinect to wake up the machine, then again it used Kinect’s skeleton tracking/facing recognition to login to your personal profile. And all under 13 seconds in just an impressive thing. If you are more into privacy issues, you can as usual power on your Xbox One using your controller. Watch the video above. Source: Major Nelson ...

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Microsoft has released a new privacy statement that applies to Xbox products and services which include Xbox console versions, Xbox Live service, Games for Windows Live, Windows Phone Games, Xbox Music, Xbox Store, and other products and services. You can read them all from the link below. Regarding Kinect facial data, some game titles may take advantage of a new Xbox capability called expressions. This feature allows you to use your defined facial expressions to control or influence a game. This data does not identify you, stays on the console and is destroyed once your session ends. CVG has summarized some important privacy policies of Microsoft, Players can turn Kinect off at any time. When Kinect is used with certain games and apps, a user’s skeletal movements can be used to estimate exercise stats. Microsoft says “you can decide how your stats are managed and whether they are shared”. Kinect’s facial-numeric identifiers, ...

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We are just a month away from Xbox One launch. We are yet to get all the details about it as Microsoft is revealing them every week as we move towards the launch date. A leaked user manual of Xbox One Kinect has revealed the minimum distance requirement to use the sensor. The new minimum distance requirement is just 1.4 meters (over 4.5-feet) which is significantly lower than the previous version of Kinect. So, people who have less space in their home should be happy to hear this! Console/Sensor dimensions: Console (LxWxH): 13.1″ x 10.8″ x 3.1″ 33.3cm x 27.4cm x 7.9cm Kinect 2 (LxWxH): 9.8″ x 2.6″ x 2.63″ 24.9cm x 6.6cm x 6.7cm Kinect cable approx. 9.5 feet (2.9m) long via: NeoGAF Source: Jogos (PDF) ...

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Microsoft yesterday released an video showing the power of Kinect for Windows by a demo which shows the future of retail we could experience. The scenario video shows how a Kinect for Windows application attracts new customers by providing them with a good understanding of a resort thru an enjoyable and easy-to-use experience, while also providing customers with an offer to receive a discount on future stays. Watch the video above. The Kinect for Windows SDK and toolkit contain drivers, tools, APIs, device interfaces, and code samples to simplify development of applications for commercial deployment. Microsoft frequently update the SDK, adding improvements for more control and deeper access to sensor data; new tools, such as Kinect Fusion; and samples, such as best-in-class user interfaces, to feed the creativity and needs of Microsoft’s customers. ...

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  There were reports in the past few weeks that Microsoft could use the next generation Kinect in Xbox One to target ads. For example, Kinect can guess your age, sex, etc, by body recognition, etc,. Albert Penello , MS Director of Product Planning at Xbox clearly denied these reports. He told that no one at Microsoft is working on such things and if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn’t happen without the user having control over it. He also revealed that Microsoft is working on some cool things that make use of Kinect console. He also cited few examples of how Microsoft deals with privacy in Xbox One, Two examples of how we deal with similar things today: First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like ...

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I think Playstation is going to seriously regret not bundling their version of Kinect with the PS4.  Maybe they knew it would not be as good as Kinect 2.0 anyways. Cyrus Bamji, Microsoft partner hardware architect for Microsoft’s Silicon Valley-based Architecture and Silicon Management group, and members of his team were trying to incorporate a time-of-flight camera into Xbox One.  A time-of-flight camera emits light signals and then measures how long it takes them to return. That needs to be accurate to 1/10,000,000,000 of a second; the speed of light. With such measurements, the camera is able to differentiate light reflecting from objects in a room and the surrounding environment. That provides an accurate depth estimation that enables the shape of those objects to be computed. That speed-of-light capability would be a major advancement for the Kinect sensor portion of Xbox One, being released to 13 launch markets next month. ...

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Talking at the Eurogamer Expo in London, Microsoft Phil Harrison revealed that the Kinect can differentiate between two people talking at the same time.  Additionally, the Kinect’s lead developer Nick Burton stated that it will also be able to see whether mouths are moving in the dark. The Xbox One will be launching in November 22 for $499 and will be bundled with the second-generation Kinect technology.  Many developers are utilizing Kinect in unique ways for upcoming titles as we reported earlier.  In response to privacy concerns, Microsoft clarified that the Kinect does not record or upload your conversations and therefore the NSA cannot have access to them. via Polygon ...

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  As expected, Microsoft is already exploring the ways to navigate Windows using Kinect gestures. Even though Kinect had a official Windows SDK for a longtime, Microsoft never showed off a way to navigate Windows using air gestures. Today, The Verge revealed that Microsoft Research is already exploring the potential use of it. In this project, you will be mounting a Kinect camera above a desk and it detects a number of gestures above and around a keyboard and mouse. Microsoft Researcher Abigail Sellen says the following, “What we don’t want here is Tom Cruise in minority report,” “What gestures are good at are being very casual, expressive. What they’re not good at is being precise. Touch is good at that, mouse pointer is good at that. We don’t need to do that with gestures.” “We’re not doing anything precise, and nothing that requires you to hold your hands up ...

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Game publishers continue to be innovate on the Xbox One and are investing in utilizing Kinect’s capabilities, which will bundled with the Xbox One.  (This is your cue to cry PS4 fanboys)  DICE’s Patrick Bach gave a preview of Battlefield 4 to Xbox Wire.  He revealed that the game is considering to using the Xbox One’s Kinect sensor for head tracking look controls (such as leaning around a corner) and also for voice commands.  The publisher will also be using SmartGlass (again no real PS4 equivalent) to allow players to view the overhead map during multiplayer matches and take advantage of the second screen. Here is part of the Q&A: What are you most excited about for developing on new generation hardware?  Developing for a new hardware generation is always exciting and inspiring for us at game makers and players. At DICE, we have prepared ourselves well for this transition ...

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Kinect SDK 1.8 for Windows now available.  It includes a number of improvements: New background removal API. This “turn-key” green screening capability makes it easy to perform background replacement dynamically in your application. This new API should prove to be practical and fun. 3D color capture capabilities with Kinect Fusion. Kinect Fusion enables your app to create 3D mesh models with a Kinect sensor. In the 1.8 Kinect for Windows SDK these capabilities have been augmented with realistic color texture mapping so that you can produce 3D models with realistic color. Since the new 3D printing capabilities in Windows 8.1 are engineered to support surface color, this new color capturing capability is particularly exciting. Improved tracking for Kinect Fusion. Updated algorithms enable more reliable camera tracking as the Kinect sensor moves while scanning a scene. The result: a better Kinect Fusion experience and better 3D models. Multi-sensor Kinect Fusion sample. ...

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