Microsoft wants to show the magic that can happen with Kinect

Microsoft took a lot of criticism for their initial decision to make their second generation Kinect a requirement for the Xbox One. Today, a few weeks after the company announced it would sell the Xbox One without Kinect, Microsoft published a feature that looks at how it continues to improve the software for the device.

Microsoft says it brings Kinect hardware and software to the homes of company employees who live 25 miles or less from its Redmond, Washington campus. The idea is to test how Kinect works in real world conditions, with features like facial recognition, speech, gestures and more. The tests are recorded with infrared cameras that are later taken back to Microsoft.

More tests are conducted on the campus itself, including a room where 24 four-megapixel infrared cameras can be used to track and record thousands of different types of movements that can later be put into the Kinect software. Microsoft can process 180,000 video clips in an hour that is then mined for data that is also used to update Kinect.

All of this is supposed to make the hardware and software better, and not just for Xbox One games. Even though pre-orders for Kinect for Windows v2 have just started, thousands of developers have gotten early hardware and software builds that has allowed them to develop new Windows-based Kinect applications.

One of them, Vera, is shown in a Microsoft video. Developed by Reflexion Health, it allows patients who are at home to continue their physical therapy exercises with the application combined with Kinect.

The truth is that Microsoft might have more success with Kinect as a tool for medicine, science and other non-gaming applications than it has had with the Xbox One and the older Xbox 360 consoles. It seems clear that Microsoft is in it for the long haul in terms of continuing to improve Kinect, but only time will tell if their efforts will be worth it.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

John Callaham
  • Microsoft Xbox Team news SEEMS FASTER today!
  • Nice to know that technology can be used for good
  • Kinect Sucks! Look at how she moves and the camera does not detect her movement /s...   This is a likely reaction of many people who don't know that what's showing the tracking of the camera is on the right shown in red. Just thought I pointed it out before the haters do so.
  • Kinect have a lot of possibilities yet to be discover on Medical therapy and kids carr fields
  • Coolest uses for the first Kinect were because of the pc version. Glad they finally released a pc version for the version 2.
  • Kinect is needed for VR. Tons of developers are using Kinect body tracking with the Oculus Rift and getting amazing results. Xbox is crazy if they don't pursue VR when they have the best motion tracking device on the market.
  • So... can I get an Rx for a Kinect and get it covered under Part B? I think that will be the determining factor, cost, lol. Great stuff though. If this actually gets out there then I can see outpatient therapy being much more effective. They need to team up with Nintendo because of the Wiifit experience.
  • Glad to hear they're improving
  • I can't stop cringing. Those "squats".
  • Nice squats :D Does she do CrossFit?
  • Nice Kinect
  • Kinect is best gadget ever! smart move Microsoft like always!
  • Maybe not the best thread to ask my question: if somebody owns xbox1 and kinect, can tell me about their feelings regarding the progress made on kinect? Did it become faster, less laggy, more reliable etc? The xbox360 version has somewhere between 400-600 msec delay, which is a huge in interactive games, and renders the entire gaming experience bad, if quick movements must be recognized without noticable delay and reliably.
  • Kinect 2 performs pretty well. I have a 95% success rate with voice commands. It almost always recognizes my face and signs me in (although I wish it did this faster), Skype looks fantastic, it works very well in Xbox Fitness tracking movement, it works pretty well in Kinect Sports Rivals, etc. But, it definitely has more room to improve, and I hope it does.
  • It's ten times better than the old Kinect but it needs more games... There was a problem with Xbox on but the update two days ago has fixed it
  • I bet foztella glasses is the reason Kinect I being unbundled
  • They are still on Windows 7??
  • System integrators, end consumers and the industry as a whole have alot to thank of Microsoft for developing Kinect. As a sensor, so 'easily' integrated and utilised in whole manner of applications and industries, its amazing to think of the possibilities if it gets further traction. MS is probably one of the few hardware designers that could make Kinect work as they are primed for its uses in entertainment and industrial scenarios.
  • I was a little apprehensive getting the Xbox One. I didn't think that I'd need or want a Kinect camera, and I didn't think that it would work very well in the room that I have it in. But, after getting it, and using it, I actually like it. I don't really use it for games, but I love the voice commands. Xbox On turns on my entire system. It recognizes me and signs me in to live. And it is pretty good at switching ap's. I just wish it was easier to change channels. It doesn't really work very well for me, particularly with certain channels. CNBC might get me to CNBC, but could end up on NBC. Science usually takes me to SyFy, instead of the Science Channel. HGTV, WE, History 2, forget it. It won't go anywhere. I hope that when Cortana is integrated into the platform, it will be better.
  • Smartglass
  • Yeah, I can't even imagine using Xbox One without a Kinect. I use it all the time. And, yes, OneGuide support on SmartGlass is awesome, but I understand your frustration. I just moved cities. Previous city it just matched up perfectly: "Xbox, watch CBS". Boom, beamed to CBS. Et cetera. But in my new city there are channel duplicates, so it doesn't work as well.
  • I just bought a Samsung TV and noticed how much effort and thought Samsung has put into integrating its Phones with its TV's. They even have a Skype application. We know that Microsoft does not have a Display product in the market like Samsungs range of OLED's, LED and Plasma TV's but they do have XBOX. Which is supposed to be an entertainment centre! Microsoft has done very little to integrate their own products into thier own range of devices. - Where is Skype for the XBOX360 - I have been waiting for this since 2011!! - Where is a Miracast type application on XBOX360 and XBOXOne - How about integrating Hotmail/Mail into XBOX360 and XBOXOne I can go on but hopefully Nadella will be able to awaken this sleeping giant and get the innovative and productive juices flowing again. I remember when Microsoft use to lead the pack now a days they always seem to be playing catchup.
  • SmartGlass integration on Xbox One is the best I've ever seen. It is stupid that Skype isn't on Xbox 360, though.
  • Who needs an Xbox when u can have a PlayStation :)
  • I need it even though my ppl gas gets spoiled every everytime I play
  • The Playstation 4 is so boring. It can't do 1/4 the things my Xbox One can do. That's why.
  • 1.3 billion Chinese.  
  • The kinect has took a lot of flack from some people myself included. But since the past couple of updates i wouldn't be without it. Far better and even my xbox one has been alot faster and snappier. I hope that it doesn't get forgotten about it has alot of potential Imo.
  • Ghost hunting!