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Microsoft's Cube is a Kinect-powered virtual party

While the Xbox One and other Microsoft products provide entertainment and functionality to make lives that little bit easier, the brains behind said tech also have the time to create some fairly awesome projects like the Cube. Not to be mistaken with the TV game show), the Cube is actually a virtual party, enabling folk to dance with one another using Kinect ad interacting with a virtual world.

A combination of four Kinects and five computers produce the end result captured in the above video. The Cube itself was created for the Decibel Festival in Seattle and to show just how Microsoft tech can be used in unique ways. An interesting feature of the Cube is are the screens, which are formed of projection material and clear acrylic (instead of LCD).

We're still figuring out a way to get one of these in our office. Check Microsoft's blog post (opens in new tab) for more details.

Via: Neowin (opens in new tab)

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

49 Comments
  • Seen this video a few days ago. Interesting what they can do. But boring vid and didn't seem that fun because couldn't make out what they were doing, lol
  • Projectors inside the box show an environment for users on the screens outside the box. Kinects track the the people outside the box and the projectors include their avatars and actions in the projected environment.
  • I understand, just doesn't seem that fun from the video, but great tech.
  • Now I understand a little more why Microsoft is laying people off. Not that I want anybody to lose their job, but I don't see how the cube fits in a services and devices company... Seems like a waste of resources to have a group of overpaid people just rigging a couple projectors and cameras together.
  • Don't ever be a researcher
  • You have no idea how new products are made and conceived.  It seems you can't see more than 5 minutes ahead of you.  Most of the products in use today were at one point some kind of concept in a lab.  Most of these concepts never come into production but all the lessons learned from each iteration bring together enough knowledge and experience to finally create something amazing, usable, practical, and applicable to our lives.  But you cannot get to that point without all the experimentation and trials first.  It's not like they are making a hammer for goodness sakes. 
  • Lol
  • It seems like cook concept, but not really that practical
  • Cool*
  • A lot of R&D doesn't look practical. It's their job to think of interesting platforms that can be built upon by others. Those others can find practical uses.
  • I get they are just researching stuff, which can be impoved on.  But when the guy is all excited saying that you can interact with a digital world, it's like he has never played with Kinect before. Microsoft gave away for free Kinect Party, and it does exactly that... in one of the many scenarios you become this thing with music and bright colors around... put that game reflected by four projectors and there you go, a work of "art" that could be sold for million of dollars now days.
  • A lot of these things are conceptual. They throw together prototypes with existing parts cheaply and see if it's something worth expanding on.
  • Impressive, but nothing special
  • "Impressive, but nothing special" ?
    It doesn't make sense. Sorry.
  • Impressive technlogical achievement, stupid in reality.
  • Couldn't help thinking about all the layoffs at Microsoft and then wonder how much value this brings to them... 
  • Indeed. They have the resources to spare on something this utterly impractical, meanwhile where are the new flagship Lumias?
  • Do you know what R&D is?
  • No, but I bet your mom does
  • #getrekt
  • Yeah she does because she doesn't have the IQ of a toaster oven like yourself
  • God Damn, I've always knew that there were some useless overpaid clock riders at Microsoft. Sometimes I thought maybe I was just being too harsh but after seeing this maybe i ws right all along. How does this make money for the company or makes windows phone any better? I would have fired their A$$es along time ago. Nimrods
  • Hahahaha
  • Yup. So many useful things they could be working on and this is what they're wasting resources and manpower on. New Lumias, anyone?
  • Windows phone is so low on the totem pole at Microsoft it's probably an afterthought for most teams. Most of them probably do have much more important things to do than worry about Windows Phone.
  • With that attitude you won't ever move up enough to fire anyone. At least not anywhere that encourages creative thinking and research.
  • Perfectly said
  • There are a couple more rounds of layoffs left... They all looked so young, its a shame. On a serious note, they should have said that its just a fun free time project, not that someone will actually waste time developing for it.
    Or maybe its a plot to sell more kinects by putting 4 in a box.
  • I'm sorry what does it do exactly?
  • Kinect is awesome and needs to be pushed further.
  • Nicw WPC App via Nexus 5.
  • If they are going to do this type of stuff, at least use it for marketing... Put these cubes in shopping centres around the world and let passers-by interact with Microsoft devices (Lumia, Surface etc) in a "Virtual world"... Heck turn it into a promotion... Act like a dick in front of a cube for 5 mins, get 25% off any Microsoft device.
  • Lol
  • Agreed...for the most part. Lol!
  • I liked the video. Some of the comments here appeared too cynical. I mean, we need to be appreciative of innovation. If Apple would have done this, people would go ga-ga saying its the next big thing after the All-Spark ;) Rants for prioritizing WP development are welcome but they should be really targeted towards Elop, Belfiore and Myerson but not towards these cool nerds :)
  • You are right, if apple did this apple fans would (go ga-ga saying it is the next big thing) and can you blame them? The product they bought is a great product for what it does, and apple constantly delivers to those simple minded morons what they promise regardless if its the same $h1t for the past seven years or so I lost count. Unlike us WP users who are getting tired of being Fu@ked over by Microsoft and all their BS and false promises.
  • What Monica said
  • Microsoft develops OS's for OEM to develop inovative finished product.  Microsoft is also a company that has entered the HARDWARE arena to show the OEM's how a high quality product that fits all price points should be done. However, they do walk a fine line. Microsoft needs to leave room for the OEM's to innovate.  Microsoft sets standards and produces products that highlight the best features of the OS and associated products (Lumia and Suface) in a high quality fashion.  If they were to give a middle finger to the OEM's and market Microsoft products as the only products to purchase, in esence like Apple, that would not be good for the industry they built.  Think about the OEM's that would be in financial trouble or go out of business - HP, DELL, ASUS, GATEWAY, LENOVO for example.  They are trying to raise the quality of products that run the Microsoft OS and services not totally replace and take over the market.  You cant destroy what you built (well you could but then what?)
  • Now wonder why people are getting laid off
  • Lol this is crazy
  • Pretty awesome, but if we're in the same room, why not just dance together? Lol
  • This is for the extreme introvert
  • I'm still waiting videocompression for whatsapp....
  • Instead of building the dammed smartwatch they are wasting time on yet another Kinect thing that adds nothing to the consumer
  • I wish MS would stop doing this!  THey had me excited for at least 3 years for the surface tabletop device, but I have still yet to see them.  with the cost of a 40" TV being around $400 a table with touch screen and computer internally built with legs could be around $1500.  It doesn;t have to have pixel sense just multitouch and I think people would buy them.  Go to the TV manufacturers and see if they can incorporate it into the sets they already build.  I think businesses would buy them.  
    As for this, every shopping center in america would have one.  This is a kiosk if I ever saw one!  Add some sort of touch functionality to the panel itself and that would be a hell of a tool!  But it should be at least offered as a snapin package (much like the surface table) to a Windows 8 or Threshold installation).
  • Lenovo make a product like the surface tabletop that is 20"+ or so that uses this technology for home use.  It's in Best Buy.
  • Well now that's "out of the box"
  • They are doing this funny business cause Satya is in India right now
  • 2 million dollar lava lamp.