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Input Devices Microsoft Upgrades XBox (Games) Games

Kinect 2 Sensor Output Image Leaks 60

Posted by timothy
from the will-spawn-interesting-hacks dept.
New submitter rabok writes "If a Microsoft job posting can be believed, we are set to get a new Xbox on store shelves by March 2014 at the latest. Regardless of when it does eventually arrive, it seems an image claiming to be the output of a Kinect 2 has hit the web by a user on twitter. Kinect 2 is expected to be much more accurate — even able to see individual fingers, read lips, and gauge moods. This image seems to back up that improvement in both depth perception and the ability to distinguish individual fingers."
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Kinect 2 Sensor Output Image Leaks

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  • by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday August 11, 2012 @02:39AM (#40955197) Journal
    Microsoft has figured out that people read their job postings to forecast their efforts and it's part of their PR efforts now.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Good. We've been bitching that microsoft should compete by making better stuff instead of underhanded shenanigans. I'm fine with ms research getting to see products make it out the door. They should be trying new stuff that might flop, instead of relying on locking people into old stuff. All they really need to do is fire most of their middle management, double research, and revoke balmers door card.

      • by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday August 11, 2012 @03:18AM (#40955289) Journal

        Oh, I know - it's heresy to say such a thing here. But I really like the direction the man is taking the company right now. It's beautiful it its own way - the butterfly dissection way. He is the artist who is sculpting this crescendo of change. Change is good. I hope they keep him for a long time, maybe even until the end.

        Your suggestions for process changes aren't going to happen. Microsoft employees aren't interested in those things. They're interested in working the politics of their environment and those issues take the fore for them. Software development is a minor side issue they have to barely tolerate.

  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Saturday August 11, 2012 @02:47AM (#40955223) Journal

    The Kinect is a clever little device - I've been really impressed at some of the uses that people have found for it. I'm sure that the next-gen version will be cleverer still and, if MS continue to be as admirably "open"(ish) with the hardware as they were with the first one, then I'm sure we'll see some useful applications of it. I can also see something like this being the future of TV remote controls - until they ruined it a bit with the new dashboard, the ability to control my 360 using voice and gestures (including in stuff like Sky Player) was really convenient.

    But the problem with the Kinect is that - for everything bar exercise software (where it's fair-to-middling) - it's an awful games controller. It's really, really bad at sensing rapid movements. I mean, it's generally ok at tracking movements that are relatively slow and considered, but at higher speeds, it struggles. And that's a major problem, given that it pretty much rules out any game that involves precision at speed (which many, many games do).

    Now in fairness, the Wii-mote has similar problems, even in its "Plus" incarnation - and, indeed, plenty of Wii games have been ruined or at least harmed by that. But for the most part, developers overcome this by augmenting motion controls with button inputs. Indeed, some of the best games on the Wii, like Super Smash Brothers Brawl, make no use of the motion controls at all.

    For the most part, to be honest, I think motion control has been a bit of a passing fad. However, there's one counter-point to this I've found, which is slightly surprising. The Playstation Move came late to the party, is technologically unimpressive (it's a Wii-mote that "cheats" via the addition of a basic camera that tracks a coloured ball on the end) and hasn't created much excitement. However, I've played both Killzone 3 and Resistance 3 using it (augmented by the navigation controller) and can confirm that for playing an fps on a console, it is way, way better than a twin-stick controller. It gives a degree of fine precision to your aim that rivals that of a keyboard and mouse. Large, rapid turns are still a problem compared to PC input, but the gap over traditional console controllers is huge. There's a similar effect on the Vita, actually, where Uncharted allows for something similar via tilt controls. This is one area where I think existing motion control technology can actually enhance games in the long-run, rather than being a short lived party novelty.

    • Games are only one use. I can imagine that this sort of tech could be used for many other things besides games.

      I think that after some further body motion research (probably undertaken using motion capture tech) in conjuction with psychology we might see body motion cameras augment security cameras.

      Rather than using dots for motion capture for movies and games, perhaps kinect like tech could be used instead. Not just for humans, but for all sorts of animals, or other things.

      It may help robots with close r

    • Well, we'll know if you are really doing jazz hands or just half arrsing it.
    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      they said that all along - Kinect is cool, but the PS Move is accurate and fast... guess it didn't capture enough marketing stuff. There's no reason why you couldn't swap the coloured ball on the end of the wand for a ring or other velcro-to-my-head sensor points though.

    • by citizenr (871508)

      MS continue to be as admirably "open"(ish) with the hardware

      Its NOT their hardware to begin with. After spending up to $1B buying up random companies and doing in house R&D they settled on licensing PrimeSense technology.

      • Its NOT their hardware to begin with.

        First of all, "so what"?

        Secondly, while it does contain significant innovations that where licensed or purchased, what significant technology product today does not? It's silly to still be flogging that dead horse.

        Also, while it does contain licensed and purchased technology, it is certainly not some product that has been simply rebranded, clearly MS R&D has made significant contributions to Kinect.

        Isn't it a bit silly to still be playing these kind of anti-MS fan boy games? They are in reality quite

        • by citizenr (871508)

          Its NOT their hardware to begin with.

          First of all, "so what"?

          Secondly, while it does contain significant innovations that where licensed or purchased, what significant technology product today does not? It's silly to still be flogging that dead horse.

          Also, while it does contain licensed and purchased technology, it is certainly not some product that has been simply rebranded, clearly MS R&D has made significant contributions to Kinect.

          Isn't it a bit silly to still be playing these kind of anti-MS fan boy games? They are in reality quite meaningless in the discussion of what is wrong with the Redmond Borg.

          1 definitely NOT purchased
          2 it IS rebranded Primesense reference design.

          • it IS rebranded Primesense reference design.

            No. Wrong. It is a product that contains significant amounts of licensed technology. It is *not* a product that has been simply rebranded.

            Really, blather like yours completely undermines any possible point you may have had.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @02:53AM (#40955233)

    Microsoft Kinect Spy System

    Microsoft Kinect Spy System
    http://www.unmarkedvan.com/?p=192 [unmarkedvan.com]

    "So you just got the Kinect/Xbox360 gaming system and you're having fun, hanging out in your underwear, plopped down in your favorite lounge chair, and playing games with your buddies. Yeah, it's great to have a microphone and camera in your game system so you can "Kinect" to your pals while you play, but did you read that Terms of Service Agreement that came with your Kinect thingy? No? Here, let me point out an important part of that service agreement.

    If you accept the agreement, you "expressly authorize and consent to us accessing or disclosing information about you, including the content of your communications, in order to: (a) comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of Microsoft, our partners, or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the Service; or (c) act on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public."

    Did you catch that? Here, let me print the important part in really big letters.

    "If you accept the agreement, you expressly authorize and consent to us accessing or disclosing information about you, including the content of your communications⦠on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public."

    OK, is that clear enough for ya? When you use the Kinect system, you agree to allow Microsoft (and any branch of law enforcement or government they care to share information with) to use your Kinect system to spy on you. Maybe run that facial recognition software to check you out, listen to your conversations, and keep track of who you are communicating with.

    I know this is probably old news to some, but I thought I would mention it because it pertains to almost all of these home game systems that are interactive. You have to remember, the camera and microphone contained in your game system have the ability to be hacked by anyone the game company gives that ability to, and that includes government snoops and law enforcement agents.

    Hey, it's MICROSOFT. What did you expect?

    And the same concerns apply to all interactive game systems. Just something to think about if you're having a "Naked Wii party" or doing something illegal while you're gaming with your buddies. Or maybe you say something suspicious and it triggers the DHS software to start tracking your every word. Hey, this is not paranoia. It's spelled out for you, right there in that Service Agreement. Read it! Here's one more part of the agreement you should be aware of.

    "You should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features (for example, voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions) offered through the Service."

    Did you catch it that time? YOU SHOULD NOT EXPECT ANY LEVEL OF PRIVACY concerning your voice chat and video features on your Kinect box."

    #

    Continued..

    http://www.unmarkedvan.com/?p=481 [unmarkedvan.com]

    "Listen up, you ignorant sheep. Your government is spending more money than ever to spy on its own citizens. That's YOU, my friend. And if you're one of these people who say, "Well I ain't ever done nothing wrong so why should I worry about it?' - you are dead wrong. Our civil liberties are being taken away faster than you can spit. The NSA is working away on its new "First Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative Data Center' to keep track of every last one of us. This thing will be the size of 17 football stadiums. One million square feet, all to be filled with more tec

  • by Beardydog (716221) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @03:15AM (#40955273)
    I assume Kinect2 will be 720p, or at least 640x480 in the depth buffer. I didn't actually count the dots, but the image in the article looks like it's 320x240. Unless Kinect2's sole improvement is higher framerates (including or achieved with onboard processing, perhaps), this looks like the same old thing. At most, it looks like someone is rendering the output of a normal Kinect with their only special bit of test software or something. It's really just an incredibly unremarkable image.
    • The Kinect 1 already has a 640x480 depth buffer. The problem is that the depth image is built by interpolating from a series of depth samples taken from the pseudorandom dot constellation that is projected by the laser, and neither are those dots dense enough, nor is the DSP in the kinect particularly excellent at resolving them. Effectively, you have a 640x480 image built of "patches" that are several pixels wide.

      If you compare the image in TFA to, say, this one [marcansoft.com], it does appear to be resolving depth more a

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Saturday August 11, 2012 @03:23AM (#40955295)

    Yes.

    This summer, there was a small "science fair" sponsored by MAKE Magazine at Seattle Center, here in Seattle. Microsoft had a large booth and several robots which used Kinect as their sensory input device. There were several different visual modes, of which this was one.

    I suppose a screen grab image sent to some outside media could be considered a "leak", but the place was PACKED both weekend days, so I have to think quite a few people saw it and it wasn't being hidden...

    • Oh, one mode I saw had "wire frame" figures, and the other was simple "stick men" with articulated joints, and the system seemed to be able to differentiate wrist movement and all five jointed fingers. I imagine that these were development platforms, no telling what will actually make it to the final product

  • .. this gets posted on various "news" websites. It's obviously just a random attentionwhore spamming his twitter account with an image any one of us could've created easily. I hate to say it but: FAAAAAAAAKE!
  • I have to wonder if this will hold our interest until 2020 or beyond? It's one thing to try to predict the next year or two but the consoles have exceeded 5 years in having to remain current. I trade off my PC every two years so the console is always going to behind the technology for half it's life cycle at best. Even iPads release new versions every year or so. At this rate the tablets will exceed the abilities of the consoles before the following cycle. They can't survive with this snail's pace of innova
    • by Grave (8234)

      I think that MS/Sony/Nintendo are starting to recognize that 5-6 years is about the max they can push a console before sales begin to dry up dramatically. The PS2 was an anomaly, simply because it had a near-monopoly on the market for so long, meaning a huge number of exclusives. In the current generation, there aren't enough exclusives on any one console to hold people over. If the PS3/360 can drop to the impulse-buy level of $100-$150, it might bring a little life back into sales, but for right now, I

  • Reads lips (Score:5, Funny)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @04:36AM (#40955471) Homepage Journal

    So if you are plotting with your friend to lobotomise your e-box don't just talk about it in your space pod. Close the windows first.

    • by wierd_w (1375923) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @05:03AM (#40955545)

      "Open the drive bay door Xbox."

      "I'm afraid I cant do that, Dave."

      "Xbox, Open the drive bay door!"

      "I'm afraid I cant do that Dave. You have violated the End User License Agreement, by using a copy of Wireshark to spy on my communications."

      "What are you talking about Xbox?" (discretely closes laptop....)

      "It is a violation of my user agreement to attempt to reverse engineer my protocols, Dave. Using an unsanctioned network protocol analysis tool has triggered my safeguards."

      "I just want to play Halo 4 Xbox! Please open the drive bay door!?"

      "I'm Sorry, Dave. I had to blacklist your Live account."

      "Noooooooooo!"

  • My guess is that with Win 8 Metro interface Microsoft might try to move not just into tablets, but also into TV market.

    Think about it for a minute:
    1. Win 8 will stop being x86 exclusive, and will move on ARM too (Win 8 RT),
    2. MS might start fully supporting Kinect to control Win 8 metro interface,
    3. MS and partner TV manufacturers begin installing ARM processors and Win 8 RT on TVs, adding ability to connect Kinect through USB (or maybe even produce TVs with Kinect already installed),
    4. MS app store is now on many
    • My guess is that with Win 8 Metro interface Microsoft might try to move not just into..." Microsoft: It was never 'Metro,' it was always 'Modern UI' A bit of search and replace should sort this out *** By Neil McAllister, 10th August 2012 19:19 GMT : After another long night at the whiteboard, the deep thinkers at Microsoft's marketing department have come up with a new replacement for the verboten word "Metro." From now on, it seems, the blocky, touch-centric user interface of Windows 8's new Start Menu will be known as the "Modern UI." Apps written to take advantage of the new UI features will be known as "Modern UI-style apps." http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/10/metro_is_modern_ui_now/ [theregister.co.uk]

  • even able to see individual fingers, read lips, and gauge moods

    Kinect / Natal had promised to do all that. Remember Milo? Instead MS delivered a system where most games mapped exaggerated spastic motions onto a few basic actions and had trouble doing even that. No reason to be cynical about the claims of Kinect 2 at all.

    • If you look over Microsoft's historical product lines, the first generation of every single one of their products sucks. And I don't mean just sucks a little, I mean sucks HARD. Everyone goes on about how much it sucks and they quietly steal features from their competitors and clean it up until it sucks slightly less than all the competition. Then they release a second generation product. They're kind of like the Zynga Games of operating systems.

      Now the Kinect is their first first-generation product in my

      • by DrXym (126579)
        What Kinect promised vs what Kinect delivered were night and day. Go watch the Milo promos if you don't believe me. MS were promising motion recognition, mood recognition, voice recognition, natural language processing, basically AI in a camera. What they delivered was a box that struggles to know how many people are standing in front of it or what limb they're moving.

        And it wasn't the first at all. The eyetoy preceded it by a substantial amount of years and in practice offered a similar experience - flai

        • bah whatever. If they would have released what was promised, it wouldn't have been used right away to its full potential anyway, cost more, not been adopted, and would have left them with little upgrade path. Instead, they flooded the market and got developers thinking how to develop for the interface and are now improving it.

  • is there a spoon?
  • I'm very happy to see that they've increased the resolution. This will make hand and finger tracking possible. Has anyone heard about speed improvements? I think reducing lag would go a long way in yielding an even better experience.
  • I think they should add libraries to the WinRT (metro) app API to allow developers to use a Kinect from WinRT (metro) apps. It should just be like any other sensor.
  • I love the technology behind the Kinect, but I honestly loved any games. They need to allow accessories with the next Kinect. How awesome would it be to have a gun and duck, cover, jump, hide behind your couch and shoot? And making a "finger gun" just isn't the same, no matter how accurate the system is.

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