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Television Input Devices Microsoft XBox (Games) Games

What Kinect Could Be, But Probably Won't 143

An opinion piece at CNN looks at Microsoft's Xbox Kinect, praising the system's capabilities not for gaming, but for what it does to the video viewing experience. "The idea of being able to ditch your table full of remote controls and just use your hands and voice to interact with the TV is compelling. It's much nicer than QWERTY keyboards, which are a terrible idea in the living room. It's also better than Wii-like remote controls, or even using an iPad or smartphone as your TV remote, a feature that cable companies are increasingly rolling out." The problem, as they see it, is Microsoft's inability to actually bring this into common usage for regular television viewing. "It seems like the company is tied too much to the Xbox's substantial gaming revenue to split the Xbox TV stuff off as a separate product — even though there's a huge population of non-gamers who probably have no interest in buying an Xbox." Perhaps this is something that can be addressed by others when the Kinect SDK is released.
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What Kinect Could Be, But Probably Won't

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  • by SilasMortimer ( 1612867 ) <> on Sunday April 24, 2011 @05:32AM (#35919788) Journal
    ...that Microsoft comes up with something very cool on its own (i.e., without buying someone else's product and rebranding it), they have this frustrating tendency to screw it up with unimaginative business practices. In this instance, I give it at most two years before someone comes out with a similar product that will immediately charge to the lead in the market. At that point, Microsoft will try to catch up and that's what they'll be doing all the way up to the point where they discontinue the product. Their reliance on product limitations as a business practice may have helped them in the early years, but it's been a long time since it's been of any benefit.

    I'm not a fan of Microsoft (though they make THE best keyboard with their Natural Ergonomic 4000), but I can only think that this is seriously frustrating for people who work there.
  • Explain to me... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Servaas ( 1050156 ) <captivayay AT hotmail DOT com> on Sunday April 24, 2011 @05:37AM (#35919814)
    How would the Kinect be used as a TV remote replacment? Swipe left for down channel, right for next? Up for volume up and down for volume down? Ok now I want to jump from channel 34 to 21, what swipe gesture would I use for that? How about channel info? Will there be Kinect gesture classes in our children's school years? I hear people talking about the Kinect like its the second coming but other then specific problems that could be addresed by it for the most part its the child like idea of of having a Minority Report interface that has people excited.
  • Re:Explain to me... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mark Hood ( 1630 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @05:47AM (#35919846) Homepage

    I have the same problem - remembering the passage from 'Hitchhikers' talking about how buttons on equipment gave way to touch controls, then to gestures... Meaning you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same station.

    So either you have to accept that someone will change the channel every time they stretch (or throw their hands up in exasperation at a missed goal) or introduce a 'get the TV's attention' gesture. Yoo-hoo, I'm waving at you....

    I see they're talking about using voice too - so I guess it's that, but how are you going to turn the volume down when it can't hear you over the sound of the movie? Or when someone happens to speak the keyword in a show you're watching? (Which reminds me, if anyone had that 'clapper' thing, did it turn your lights off whenever the ad for it came on?)

    If someone gets it right, I'm all for it - but I just don't see it. 'Who wants a beer?' *hand goes up* *tv changes to Lifetime* *thirsty guy gets beaten*. I'll stick with my Harmony remote, to replace all the others - and I don't even need a webcam on 24/7 in my living room, with all the privacy implications that has.


    PS We once had a TV at school which was had an ultrasonic remote (this was something that came out either before or in competition with IR). One of my classmates discovered that their sneezes were perfectly pitched to the 'change channel up' signal. Sadly it was hay-fever season, so they had to sit outside while we watched something about Henry VIII and chuckled uncontrollably whenever we remembered it.

  • by citizenr ( 871508 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @07:26AM (#35920094) Homepage

    Then you don't recall correctly, obviously. Microsoft did actually develop Project Natal within its own organization (and through a wholly-owned subsidiary). They are using hardware developed by an Israeli company.

    reposting my old comment:
    "Actually NO, That "most successful company to ever exist" spends $600 million developing kinect (developing means running around buying out companies like 3DV Systems) and writing skeletal reconstruction code (that has a 0.5second LAG, just try playing Adventures and then compare lag to Fitness that doesnt use skeletal code and doesnt lag at all) ... and in the end used PrimeSense Reference Design because what they developed in house DIDNT WORK."

    "Its merely a partner agreement between Primesense and Microsoft. Microsoft doesnt own a single bit of hardware technology that goes into Kinect."

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian