Xbox One’s Kinect Detailed: Wider View, More Accurate, Unique Player Recognition

May 22, 2013 by  

Xbox One Kinect Details

Easily the more impressive element of Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal yesterday morning was the demo of the console’s new Kinect functionality. No longer will the Kinect be some imprecise, pared down tech that barely functions, but rather this new version will be more accurate, fully-featured, and useful. Oh, and it will also be much larger.

While Microsoft’s presentation was primarily focused on the basics of this new Kinect – Kinect 2.0, if you will – a behind-closed-doors press demo further highlighted the device’s capabilities. And while it’s little more than a promise at this point, what Microsoft showed should get gamers excited.

For starters, Kinect will be capable of capturing an image in 1080p Full HD detail. That means the device can register minute details like the wrinkles in a player’s shirt, or even facial expressions. The camera can also more accurately register player movements – the rotation of limbs, quick punches, or subtle gestures like moving fingers.

The Kinect also has a wider field of view, meaning the device can support smaller play spaces. Microsoft wouldn’t give any specific details in regards to optimal distance, but if it can run efficiently in an average apartment that would be a big step in the right direction.

In addition to improving on the basics of Kinect, Microsoft is also adding a few features that, while not requested, could help improve a player’s experience nonetheless. Microsoft claims the device can register any player based on their face to determine which individual is holding which controller. So, for example, if two players traded controllers, Kinect and Xbox One would switch the profiles associated with those controllers.

Xbox One Kinect Specs

This feature even goes a step further, by automatically switching a player’s field of view based on where they are sitting or standing. Kinect will recognize that the person holding controller 2 is actually on the left side of the screen, and will split the screen so the second player’s screen is also on the left. In other words, two players won’t have to look diagonally at their screen while playing Call of Duty: Ghosts, and they won’t have to frantically switch positions on the couch.

But wait, there’s more. Kinect can also read movements in the dark, which eliminates the need for optimal lighting. Kinect can take a player’s heartbeat based on their facial coloration (we’re not so sure about this one either). And Kinect can identify your voice amidst 7.1 speakers’ worth of explosions, gunfire, and NPC yelling.

Like it or not, Kinect is still very much part of Microsoft’s plan, so much so that they are requiring it for Xbox One operation. That being said, the publisher is taking steps towards making the device more functional and useful. There’s a lot of claims being thrown around, and not necessarily a lot of definitive proof to support them, but (on paper) it sounds like Kinect 2.0 will be an improvement over its predecessor.

What do you think of Kinect 2.0? Can you see yourself benefiting from the device, or will you still never use it?

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Source: IGN

17 Comments

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  1. I don’t know anyone who was a huge fan of the original Kinect because of it’s inaccuracy and lag, hopefully this next-gen Kinect will actually work properly when we’re sitting down. I don’t want to sit up properly and wave at the Kinect like an idiot for it to recognize me, just to be able to do the swanky new home gesture.

    • the original kinect didnt even run at its full potential because the 360 was kinda old.

  2. Kinect has been a dissapointment for me, due in part to low light and minimal space, but I hope the improved version will deliver on the original promise of it. Rarely would I clasify the tech as being “functional”, and the most fun has come from voice recognition so far, so I really haven’t experienced the premise working.

    As for the new Xbox requiring the Kinect… why in the world would that be? Microsoft may be so strategically intent that they want the devices paired, but is there ANY plausible, functional reason why the box would not work without a camera attachment? I can’t imagine! Doesn’t the bizzare nature of this make Xbox look bad to consumers? Up there with the always on concern, this is another seemingly pointless roadblock that may irritate folks and doesn’t have a clear value to anyone. I’d like to know if there is even a claim about why this would be, or a theory even.

    Oh yeah, and Xbox One is worse than a boring or silly name because it is a nonsensical, confusing, and unfunctional name. It has connotations that are unwanted and false, like that we are discussing the original system or the one before the one called two. People already refer to the first and second Xboxs using the phrase “Xbox one” or “Xbox two”, and now the first one is no longer the “one” one…. Wish they’d gone classic and made a big heavy green system and called it the Big Green Box.

    • ….ive never heard anyone refer to the 1st xbox as xbox 1 or the xbox 360 as xbox 2…..i usually just hear xbox or 360……

      • People who know systems certainly don’t tend to use that terminology. It is the less plugged in or indoctrinated, such as the parents and grandparents and the casually interested. In fact, I will use clear language rather than brand names if I talk to those who aren’t really aware of these things. To them the Wii U is just the “New Nintendo”, and the Durango would just be called “the new Xbox” or the “Third Xbox”, but intuitively it would not be “the Xbox One” because that makes no sense. I can see sad kids getting 360 games from people who say “I wanted to get you the game you asked for but they only had it for the first system, and I knew that wasn’t right so I got something for the 360.”. Xmas is ruined. Thanks a lot Bill Gates.

        Yes, I am joking. Mostly.

  3. The name is clearly aiming to say, “Xbox Won!” A little presumptuous considering all these DRM measures they’re rolling out. It’s clever they’re bundling the Kinect 2.0, but let’s be realistic, as one blogger pointed out, “If this thing is this sensitive, what’s to say it won’t let you play a game if it doesn’t recognize the biometric data of the person before it as the account holder?”

    Think about that. You’re 6’2″ 185, but your 4′ little brother wants to play. He logs into your account, but the game refuses him because the Kinect sees someone else. Microsoft is dodging some simple yes or no questions, and I think the reason is because they understand the backlash of telling truth will make Xbox One an Xbox Loss before it ever touches a shelf.

    The console doesn’t need to always be “on,” buuuuut it does need an internet connection once every 24 hours. In other words, yes, it does need to be always on. They ducked and dodged that question for months to finally find someone with an English degree enough to spin it properly. And I feel like that’s what’s coming next with the Kinect and the will-it-or-won’t-it allow you to share a game in your own house.

    • They said recently that one Xbox Live Gold account will be sufficient for an entire household, so I imagine your little brother could still play a game that you bought with your account while logging in to his own.

  4. Sounds expensive!

  5. The Kinect will be precise with my moves? Wow…oh wait, it’s the same thing they promised last time. Seems all Kinect is good for is dance games. I wanna punch something, swing a sword or shoot. But Kinect is a total failure when it comes to that. DBZ Kinect hurt the series almost as much as Evolution did! Star Wars Kinect? Just proof Lucasarts should’ve just published Battlefront 3. Steel Battalion? Just…no.

    Rise Of The Nightmares came close, but if I want good motion controlled gaming, I’ll use the PS Move.

    • I never got nearly that level of function out of it. Voice commands for ME3 and eventually Skyrim are lots of fun, but not why I bought a camera. I agree with you that the claims sound the same, and have less credibility this time, but still it is inevitably an improvement over the old model. I hope some promises are delivered on this time.

    • Fruit Ninja Kinect was great. Lets you punch fruit till youre sore. litterly.

  6. The heartbeat from facial coloration changes is entirely possible. A research team at MIT came up with a video analysis technique that can do this with almost any video by amplifying changes in pixel data.

  7. U couldn’t use other game as example? It had to be “call of duty” enough is enough with that game! Other than that..very good article..

    • Calm down there, sport.

  8. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one thinking that this “kinect is required to use the system” thing is a little creepy. Especially if it can do everything that thus article says it can; call me paranoid if you want but I would be constantly feeling like Microsoft is spying on me.

    • That is because they probably are

  9. Nah.

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