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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As announced few months before, Microsoft today released its Kinect for Windows SDK v1.5. The new SDK version features many new items such as Skeletal Tracking, Face tracking, Seated Skeletal tracking and other improvements that will allow developers to create apps on Kinect more accurately and easily. Changes since v1, The Kinect for Windows v1.5 SDK, driver, and runtime are 100% compatible with Kinect for Windows v1.0 application binaries. As of this release, the SDK has been divided into a core SDK and a developer toolkit. These are two separate installs. Kinect Studio is a new tool which allows you to record and playback Kinect data to aid in development. For example: A developer writing a Kinect for Windows application for use in a shopping center, can record clips of users in the target environment and then replay those clips at a later time for development and test purposes. Skeletal ...

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The reports about Microsoft offering Xbox 360 under contract seems to be true. You can now buy a Xbox 360 4GB console with Kinect for just $99 under two year contract. The contract for two year would require you to pay $14.99 for Xbox LIVE gold subscription. This is a great deal for a family looking for an entertainment hub. The offer so far appears to be only at Microsoft brick and mortar stores, but you can expect them soon via other stores as well. Find it here from Microsoft Store website.  ...

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After the release of Kinect for Windows hardware and SDK, Kinect for Windows team is hard at working on their next release. The v1.5 of Kinect will come with many new features.  Among the most exciting new capabilities is Kinect Studio, an application that will allow developers to record, playback and debug clips of users engaging with their applications.  Also coming is what we call “seated” or “10-joint” skeletal tracking, which provides the capability to track the head, neck and arms of either a seated or standing user. What is extra exciting to me about this functionality is that it will work in both default and near mode! In addition to the features, Kinect for Windows availability will be expanded to Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates with support for voice recognition of French, Spanish, ...

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Today Microsoft announced through various media outlets that new Xbox LIVE videos apps are releasing today on Xbox 360. Those apps include Comcast Xfinity TV, HBO Go and MLB.tv. All these apps will feature the familiar Xbox Metro UI with Kinect integration for basic controls. The main thing that comes with all these apps is their content so that you can spend time on your Xbox for watching videos than playing games all the time. via: Engadget ...

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Microsoft released its commercial version of Kinect for Windows SDK last month along with a new hardware. Since then many companies have come up with many apps, but this one is really cool. Up to 40% of clothing purchased both online and in person is returned because of poor fit, so to solve this problem Kinect was used in retail solutions. During Bloomingdale’s Denim Days, March 15 – 18, customers will be able to get their body mapped, and also become a Bodymetrics member. This free service enables customers to access an online account and order jeans based on their body shape. “We’re very excited about bringing Bodymetrics to US shoppers,” explains Suran Goonatilake, CEO of Bodymetrics. “Once we 3D map a customer’s body, we classify their shape into three categories – emerald, sapphire and ruby. A Bodymetrics Stylist will then find jeans that exactly match the body shape of ...

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Beamatron is a new research project from Microsoft in which virtual objects are projected in physical world.  It’s augmented reality concept that combines a projector and Kinect sensor on a pan tilt moving head – of the kind you may find in a nightclub. The setup utilizes KinectFusion to build a 3D model of a space and enables projected graphics to react in physically appropriate ways. For example, you can project a ball rolling over a surface or car driving over various surfaces on the floor, etc,.. Read more on this in the link below. via: Microsoft.com/next ...

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Microsoft today released the final version of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4 (RDS 4). Overall quality and stability of the RDS 4 was improved from beta with added support to work with the release version of the Kinect for Windows SDK. Also the team built a cool robot based on their RDS4, its called Kinect Follow Me Robot. I would love to have one such thing in my home ! Read more details on this from the link below.   via: Microsoft Robotics Studio ...

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It seems white technology is now all the rage, and Microsoft has followed the trend by announcing a fully while Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle. The limited edition bundle includes a glossy white Xbox 360 4GB console, glossy white Kinect sensor, white Xbox 360 wireless controller and a copy of two of the most popular Kinect tiles: Kinect Sports and Kinect Adventures. The package also includes a three month subscription to Xbox LIVE Gold will be available while supplies last for US $ 299.99. If you do not want to splash out for the full bundle, but is still desperate for the glossy white controller or need a second to complete the package, it is available for purchase separately for US $49.99. Both the controller and the white Bundle begin shipping today to retailers in the US & around the world starting today, and will be available in Europe and Brazil ...

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Xbox 360 continues to lead the US console market for yet another month. Xbox 360 also ended 2011 as the best selling console of this generation. Some highlights from the NPD data released, · Xbox 360 sold more than 270,000 units in January, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S. This marks the thirteenth straight month Xbox 360 was the top-selling console in the U.S. · Holding a 49 percent share of current-generation console sales, total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in January (hardware, software and accessories) reached $301 million, the most for any console in the U.S. This marks the eleventh consecutive month Xbox 360 has held more than 40 percent of the current-generation console market share. · During the month of January, Xbox 360 held five of the top 10 U.S. console game titles, including: “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” ...

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Microsoft has announced that the The Kinect Star Wars Bundle and Game for Xbox 360 with Kinect will be released on April 3, 2012. The game will include five dynamic modes – Jedi Destiny: Dark Side Rising, Podracing, Rancor Rampage, Galactic Dance Off and Duels of Fate.  … the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Kinect Star Wars” console bundle will feature an exclusive C-3PO unlockable for Dance Mode. With these new reveals and the ability to play in 3D, “Kinect Star Wars” adds to the growing popularity of the family-friendly gaming portfolio for Kinect for Xbox 360. You can read in detail at Major Nelson’s blog. And you can pre-order it at Amazon.  ...

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Microsoft today announced the availability of Kinect For Windows hardware. The device is available for sale from Amazon and Microsoft Store. The device will cost $249 and will have one year warranty. The newly released Kinect for Windows hardware is optimized for use with computers and devices running Windows 7, Windows 8 developer preview (desktop applications only), and Windows Embedded-based devices. Some of the changes to the hardware include: Near modeEnables the camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation out to 3 meters. Shortening USB cable and small dongleEnsure reliability across a broad range of computers and improves coexistence with other USB peripherals. Support and software updatesThe Kinect for Windows hardware includes a one-year warranty, support, and access to software updates for both speech and human tracking. In the US, Visit Amazon , Visit Microsoft ...

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Microsoft today announced the availability of Kinect for Windows SDK v1.0. Here are the changes from beta 2 release, Support for up to four Kinect sensors plugged into the same computer Significantly improved skeletal tracking, including the ability for developers to control which user is being tracked by the sensor Near Mode for the new Kinect for Windows hardware, which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the device Many API updates and enhancements in the managed and unmanaged runtimes The latest Microsoft Speech components (V11) are now included as part of the SDK and runtime installer Improved “far-talk” acoustic model that increases speech recognition accuracy New and updated samples, such as Kinect Explorer, which enables developers to explore the full capabilities of the sensor and SDK, including audio beam and sound source angles, color modes, depth modes, skeletal tracking, and motor ...

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