Rave Reviews for Microsoft Kinect’s Face and Voice Recognition
Reviews on Microsoft’s venture into motion-based gaming that was revealed earlier this year are starting to come out. The Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect, as it’s called, was first announced 13 months ago to some interest around the blogosphere and gaming world. Known as “Project Natal” at the time, it was to go up against a well established gaming world which is not only cutthroat, but also serves a critical audience with discriminating taste.
One review posted at Fortune Magazine is calling it a success for the most part. Microsoft’s controller hub features an RGB camera, three sensors (one depth sensor, one motion sensor, and another multi-array microphone). It tracks full body movement, facial expression, and voice with “precision that makes Nintendo’s Wii look like a distant ancestor and out to make Sony, with its own motion-based Move controller, somewhat nervous.”
Microsoft is claiming that with the Kinect sensor attached to a console, it is possible to navigate the entire Kinect Hub interface without a controller at all, and Fortune says that, in terms of body motion capture, no mainstream consumer tech product has ever been so ambitious.
Kinect officially launches November 4 of this year, but demos are beginning to leak out and impress the masses. The author at Fortune got his hands on one and was able to move from menu panel to menu panel with a swipe of his hand, selecting items by letting his hand linger for a few moments over it. Of course, comparisons will be based on the cool futuristic heads-up interface from Minority Report and other films, and while the Kinect experience isn’t quite as seamless as Hollywood, the gesture controls will supposedly remind you of those interfaces in a “very good way.”
The Kinect utilizes voice recognition capability so that you can verbally instruct the Xbox to stop, fast-forward, rewind, exit out, etc, by calling out simple commands: “Xbox, Fast-forward!” “Xbox, Pause!”
Microsoft is saying it should have 15 games available at launch, and the author says many of the games proved more intuitive than many of the Wii games he’s used.
The Kinect games rely on body movements that are accurately represented on screen, so you lean left and your avatar mimics.
Pretty exciting news for the gaming world. We’ll keep an eye on any more news we see coming up before November.
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