Biometric Devices: An In-depth Analysis of Kinect’s Features
Microsoft’s Kinect system is making the rounds, and many reviewers on the Internet are writing about their first experiences with the gaming console. As many of our readers know by now, the Kinect offers hands-free, gesture based control during game play. A wave of your hand or a step in the right direction controls your avatar and maneuvers him or her through a series of obstacles and surrounding environs. For the most part, people seem pretty pleased with the system overall, though there are some minor disappointments and glitches that are promised to be worked through.
In a recent post at arstechnica, one reviewer stands in front of his television, raises his hands to the air, palms facing inward, and the audience screams in adulation. As he says, that’s just the introduction to Kinect Sports, a sports-themed game that’s one of the first available for the new system.
The author mentions that he and his wife are sometimes a little unnerved by the three sensors from various gaming consoles all staring at them as they’re watching TV or even just passing through the room, but it’s something they get used to. On one occasion, the Kinect came to life as he reached for his drink. Kinect saw his arm move and assumed he wanted to play a game.
Kinect hardware is pretty advanced and features a motorized base that scans up and down, left and right in order to find the player. There are depth sensors and an IR projector that allows Kinect to see without physical light. The console includes four microphones and an audio processor that isolates voices in various parts of the room and can minimize ambient noise. The system’s proprietary Microsoft software and general processing power run on overdrive to make this thing work, but it all comes together the second you stand in front of your opponent in game play.
Graphics on the system are reportedly simpler than the Xbox 360’s, but Kinect’s support should require a few cycles through for motion control in place of graphics. The author writes about the “somewhat exasperating” series of calibration tests you’re required to go through when you connect the system, but it’s all worth the ten minute wait as soon as you raise your hands into the air for the adoring crowd.
Buy a house, clean your floor, move your butt: Ars reviews Kinect
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