Tag Archives: Kinect

First Kinect For Xbox 360,Then Kinect For Windows,Now Kinect For Windows Phone 8 ?

Kinect Sensor was an instant hit when it was released a couple of years ago for the Xbox 360,which wrote the success story for the console right from the launch of the Sensor.Then came the hacks from the enthusiasts who tried to stretch the usability  of Kinect to try out some interesting stuff and then a couple of months ago Kinect for Windows was released to bring the Kinect Sensor to Windows platform.

In the past we have seen a lot of demo videos featuring the Kinect Integration between the Xbox Live Services and Windows Phone devices.But have you ever thought that the Kinect itself would make an appearance in the Windows Phone itself ? Well your wish might come out to be true.

According to recent reports from VR-Zone,Microsoft is planning big for the upcoming Windows Phone 8 release with a possible Kinect Technology integrated directly onto the Windows Phone 8 Devices,claiming that Microsoft is working hard to bring the Kinect Natural User Interface (NUI) to Windows Phone 8 which would make it  an exciting and one of the most innovative features on a smartphone device.

According to their sources, “Kinect NUI is being closely tied to Microsoft TellMe, since Kinect allegedly captured more voice patterns than Apple Siri”.So along with Kinect we can also see advanced voice recognition feature in Windows Phone 8.Tough at this stage this is tagged as a rumor but it would be an interesting feature and could possibly be beneficial for Windows Phone platform which is still to prove its mettle in the smartphone market.

 

Microsoft Project Detroit : A Ford Mustang Powered by Windows 8 and Kinect

Microsoft is always upto something new in the Technology World combining the best technological products with new ideas.Latest addition to that is the “Project Detriot” which is nothing but a Ford Mustang powered by Windows 8 and Kinect Technology.

“Project Detroit,” will be formally unveiled on Discovery’s Velocity Network this Sunday, March 25 at 9pm PT/ET,though it won’t stop Channel 9 to reveal more details about the car which is power packed with as much as Microsoft Technology as possible.

The car packs in Kinect,Windows 8 as well as Windows Phone integration which allows to find, unlock, and start the car via a Viper-developed Smart Start app.Car also features 4G connectivity which allows to connect to Services Like Bing Maps, Viper’s Smart Start system, and a cloud-based data store in Windows Azure which allows  tracking telemetry like GPS location, speed, engine RPMs, and fuel level.

The dashboard instrument cluster is a Touch Screen which allows to apply different dashboard skins for the Car,IT also features a built-in Xbox 360 and a Kinect, so you can set it to project movies or games onto the rear windshield.You can also play Xbox games on your windshield.

On the front and back side of the car there are  separate Kinect cameras which will allow skeletal tracking and live video feeds of surrounding areas and objects, in addition to that  Windows Phone can be used to view those camera feeds remotely.

Checkout the Complete Features of the Mustang at Channel9.

Windows 8 Might Come With Siri-Like Voice Recognition And Interaction

Microsoft’s Chief Research & Strategy officer Craig Mundie spoke to the Forbes magazine recently and stated that Siri — Apple’s new voice activated digital assistant — is nothing new. Microsoft has been doing it for over a year now. Windows Phone 7 already has a feature called Tellme that allows you to dictate and send text messages to people. And there is Bing’s voice search engine as well. Mundie also added that Siri is only this popular because of Apple’s marketing and admitted that perhaps that only area where they (Microsoft) could learn from Apple is in the marketing.

Now that he has highlighted it, let’s look at Windows 8 and its allied resources that are going to start becoming available throughout next year. Microsoft’s official word on the Windows 8 phone situation says that it is not happening with the Windows 8 launch for PC’s. So let’s talk only about PC’s here.

As Mundie has already pointed out, Microsoft already has the necessary resources to pull off a proper voice recognition system. It can in fact do more than just voice — it can recognize colors and gestures too. Yes, I am talking about Kinect. Recently Kinect came in to news because Microsoft decided to star making a SDK for Kinect on Windows 8. And earlier this week, Microsoft announced that they are going to launch a beta hardware of Kinect for Windows in January 2012.

With the technology already in place, it is hard to think of reasons why Microsoft would not want to put it in there. Thus, it is entirely possible that once you buy a Windows 8 PC, all you have to do is hook it up with Kinect and start talking to it. Give it dictations, ask it set reminders, open an application or a website, etc. Bing voice search is already coming to Xbox and it is a Kinect dependent feature. Hence, Windows 8 is very likely to be completely voice aware just as the new iPhone 4S is with Siri.

Once Windows 8 makes it way to phones, it should be able to deliver the exact experience that Siri delivers but probably with some Microsoft twists in it. You can already to a lot with Tellme, so it would interesting to see that technology developed further and ported over to Windows 8 so that it can eventually work without any Kinect support. Right now however, even if Microsoft does not include a voice recognizing digital assistant in to Windows 8, third party solutions surely will have it ready soon with the Kinect SDK for Windows 8. At which point we should be seeing a sharp rise the adoption of Windows 8.

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Supposedly Leaked Roadmap Reveals Windows 8,Windows 9 and Windows Phone Apollo Roadmap

With the release of  Windows 8 Developer Preview the expectancies from the latest version of Windows have increased significantly,and now to increase curiosity, reports of a leaked Microsoft road map are doing rounds on the web revealing an August 2012 commercial launch schedule for Windows 8. Prior to that, the beta will reportedly arrive during CES 2012 this coming January along with the WinStore Beta, an online marketcommunity technology preview (CTP), and the first “Tango” update for Windows Phone. Windows 9 is even slated for a late 2014 reveal.

According to the roadmap, the Release Candidate for Windows 8 (RC) will roll out at MIX 2012 along with the online market beta and the Kinect commercial SDK — “Apollo” for Windows Phone is also expected to be revealed. By the time E3 2012 rolls around, Microsoft will reportedly unveil the Xbox 360 SDK for creating apps, the Apollo SDK for Windows Phone and third-generation Kinect games. The Windows 8 RTM build is also expected to be released in June 2012.

Later,In August 2012 , Windows 8, The Online Market, Windows Phone 8 and the Xbox (App) Store will launch if all goes according to plan. Then in September during BUILD 2012 Microsoft will offer a Windows 8 product upgrade developer preview

On the Windows 9 front, a developer preview is expected to go live during BUILD 2013 followed by a Beta during CES 2014. A Release Candidate is slated to arrive during MIX 2014 followed by the RTM build with Internet Explorer 12 during BUILD 2014. It also looks like Windows 9 Mobile will also make its debut, as both the desktop and mobile versions will go commercial in November 2014.

To view complete roadmap, click here.

Microsoft Kinect For Xbox 360 Brings New Interactive Learning Content With Sesame Street & Nat Geo

Microsoft announced yesterday that they are working with Sesame Street, Sesame Street Workshop, National Geographic and other leading academics and learning research institutions in order to bring new interactive learning content on the Xbox 360 platform. This content will be made interactive by Kinect. Microsoft seeks to turn the TV in to an immersive learning experience for the kids and adults alike. Disney is also apparently on board for another family game that is currently code-named Rush. This will be one of the multiple additions that Microsoft seeks to make to their family gaming titles portfolio.

In association with experts from Sesame Street and Nat Geo, Microsoft is producing individual series like

“Kinect Sesame Street TV,” “Kinect Nat Geo TV” and code-named “Project Columbia”

These are endeavors that seek to inspire kids to collaborate be active and learn all at the same time. These seek to engage the kids and provide a more effective learning environment for them. The Kinect Sesame Street TV is a special interactive show being produced jointly by Microsoft and Sesame Street. The sessions will be driven by the Kinect’s motion tracking and gesture recognition features, allowing children to use natural movements and just develop motor skills.

The Kinect Nat Geo TV also seeks to engage kids and transform their TV watching habits in to more active ones. But the most exciting of them all is probably what has been code named as Project Columbia. Developed in association with Sesame Workshop Curriculum Team by Microsoft, this is a project that seeks to bring books back to kids. This one of a kind project uses the Xbox 360 platform and Kinect’s features in order to bring stories to life like never before. It allows kids to become part of the stories themselves. This not only fosters reading habits but it also challenges their minds by creating an role-playing environment. Kids will interact with illustrations and words and thus freely enter a learning environment and participate actively in it.

For anyone with young children at home, creating an environment where they can learn and have fun at the same time can become challenging. Microsoft has right pointed out that the promise of interactive TV and learning has not been delivered by any one so far. All the programming out there cannot really involve kids without some kind of an interface like the Kinect. Hence, this experience from Microsoft is definitely going to be the first of its kind.

The Sesame Street shows will feature popular characters from Sesame Street who will play their own roles in helping the children learn the alphabets, numbers and basic maths like addition, substraction, etc. The Nat Geo shows will contain programming from Nat Geo WILD and will help children learn about animals. The shows will have children friendly user interfaces that children will be able to to use intuitively instead of being forced to learn something new. Look at the video on the Press Release to get a better idea of what Microsoft has in store for the little ones.

 

Nsquared shows of WP7+Surface2.0+Windows 7 Tablet+Kinect+Wall Seamless Integration

NSquared who is a big name in User Experience industry.This time around they have created an application for integrating various Microsoft devices to work with seamless integration with each other.So this application integrates Windows Phone7 ,Windows 7 Based Tablet ,Surface 2.0 and the Kinect unit to work together which is of great use for the architects for showing up the 3D structure.

See the video in action :-

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Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5 Billion

Yesterday was quite a buzzing day with rumors floating around the alleged Microsoft deal with Skype to take it over and finally later in the day an official word came from the Software Giant,who acquired one of the leading name in internet communications  today.

Microsoft reportedly bought Skype for a whooping $8.5 Billion in cash.So it means its only matter of time till we get to see Premium Skype Services to Microsoft Devices and Operating System.Starting off with Kinect  for Xbox 360 ,Windows Phone 7 and other Windows Based devices.Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities.Having said that it’s not the end of the road for non Microsoft based  platforms,Microsoft will equally support the Non-Microsoft Platform Skype Clients as well.

So get ready for some interesting services like Kinect Video Chat and the much awaited competitor for Google Voice and Apple’s Facetime from Windows Phone 7.Eagerly waiting for some Skype Goodness on my Windows Phone 7 :D

Checkout the Official Press Release Here

Image Credits: Microsoft

Kinect for Windows SDK will arrive in spring ’11

The Kinect for Windows SDK is being developed and released by Microsoft Research (MSR) in collaboration with IEB.It will be available this spring as a free download.
When Kinect was launched we saw many Kinect Hacks implemented by hardworking enthusiasts the world o’er.Its look like that we were not the only ones who enjoyed all those Kinect Hacks. it was rumored early this year, and now it’s been confirmed — Microsoft will be releasing the Kinect for Windows SDK in spring 2011.It will  will give academic researchers and enthusiasts access to key pieces of the Kinect system-such as the audio technology, system application programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor itself
The possibilities are endless.  Natural and intuitive technologies such as Kinect can be more than just a great platform for gaming and entertainment.  They open up enormous opportunities across a wide variety of scenarios, including addressing societal issues in areas such as healthcare and education.

You can check official announcement at Microsoft’s blog.

Microsoft offering massive discounts on Thanksgiving week

Today it’s thanksgiving day and Microsoft is offering huge discount on it’s various products including Windows 7,XBOX 360,Kinect and Zune HD.

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Some of the hot offers provided by Microsoft

Windows 7 Family Pack + Cisco Router: $149.99

Zune HD 32 GB: $229.99

A teaser has been added on the XBOX site stating that huge discounts would be provided on Black Friday-

During Thanksgiving week, Xbox LIVE Marketplace is the place to be, with a one-week sale featuring big discounts on some of the hit Marketplace items, with huge discounts on some of the most popular Marketplace offerings on “Black Friday,” November 26.

Major Nelson has posted a comprehensive posts giving details about the offers on games and other things related to XBOX 360 which would be offered on Black Friday.

Check all the offers from Microsoft store here.