German Commissioner Expresses Concern over Xbox One's 'Always-On' Kinect

May 28, 2013 -

Update: This Kotaku story citing an unnamed Microsoft rep. notes that the Kinect does not have to be on all the time:

"Yes, you can turn the system completely off," the Microsoft rep said. "This would use no power and turn everything off. We’ll share more details about how it all works later."  Article author Stephen Totilo speculates that this involves pressing the console's power button.

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NUIA eyeCharm Kickstarter Promises Kinect-Enabled Eye Tracking and Control

March 15, 2013 -

A Kickstarter campaign is underway for a Kinect add-on device that supposedly enables consumers to control their computers using eye tracking. The add-on technology is called the NUIA eyeCharm and it is the creation of Munich, Germany-based firm 4tiitoo. The creators of this technology claim that it will allow users to select items on your computer screen "just by looking at them," control games and even "automatically scroll" windows to adjust while reading.

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Kinect Surpasses GameCube Lifetime Sales Figures

February 12, 2013 -

Microsoft announced that worldwide sales of its Kinect motion sensing peripheral have hit 24 million, matching sales of the original Xbox system and outpacing the 21.7 million GameCube's sold by Nintendo. The company also said that it has sold 76 million Xbox 360 systems worldwide to-date.

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Microsoft's Patent Uses Camera To Police Entertainment Content Licenses

November 6, 2012 -

Microsoft has apparently filed for a patent that uses a camera device to determine how many people are watching a given piece of entertainment to make sure the consumer isn't abusing the license they purchased... The patent the company has filed for is titled "Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User" and allows content providers to "regulate the presentation of content on a per-user-view basis."

Here is a deeper, more alarming description of the patent:

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The Future is Now: Using Kinect to Manage Security Footage

September 17, 2012 -

Polygon has an interesting story of a security firm that has decided to use Microsoft's Kinect sensor to manage their surveillance technology through hand gestures and voice commands

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Kinect-Enabled Ads Coming to Xbox Live This Fall

June 15, 2012 -

As if you didn't have enough distractions on Xbox Live, Microsoft has decided to create new ads that take advantage of the Xbox 360's motion sensing Kinect technology. Coming to Xbox Live this fall, the ads (called NUads) will let consumers choose an ad-inspired adventure - a little mini-game you can play while you soak in the deliciousness of being served up information about this or that product.

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Researchers Use Kinect Motion Sensor to Spot Signs of Autism in Young Children

May 9, 2012 -

While children play at the Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School their every move is being recorded by five Kinect motion sensors tucked away in the corners of the room. No, this isn't some clever new security system or some Orwellian plot by school administrators; the Microsoft motion sensing game technology for Xbox 360 and PC is being used to detect autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in young children.

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Republican National Convention Gets Technical with Google+, Skype, and Kinect

April 20, 2012 -

The Republican National Convention which is scheduled to take place in Tampa, Florida, hopes to be the most "tech-savvy" in the party's history. The RNC has teamed up with Microsoft and Google to provide the technology they want to offer attendees at this year's event. Republican National Convention organizers plan to live-stream all of this year's speeches, offer Google+ "hangouts," and to find unique ways to use Microsoft's Kinect technology during the event.

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Campus Gamers Need Your Help for a Worthy Cause

March 19, 2012 -

On May 4 Campus Gamers will launch the 2012 Education and Gaming Symposium at California State University, Bakersfield. Leaders in the game industry will be attending the event to illuminate attendees on how the games they play can be used to improve education. Confirmed speakers include James Portnow (Extra Credits), Leslie Redd (Director of Educational Programming at Valve), and Geoffrey Zatkin (EEDAR).

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Microsoft Reveals Kinect Accelerator Initiative

November 21, 2011 -

Microsoft has launched a new program that gives $20,000 in investment and support to developers who want to build programs that use its Kinect motion sensing technology. The new initiative is called Kinect Accelerator, and will select 10 applicants to work closely with Microsoft. Those companies selected get an impressive range of support and products to help them bring their projects full circle including cash, mentoring, and lots of development tools.

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Using the Business End of Kinect

October 31, 2011 -

Microsoft has revealed that it plans to take its Kinect full body motion sensing technology from the living room to the board room. The company plans to launch a commercial program for the peripheral early next year, which - it hopes - will give businesses the tools they need to create and deploy customized applications for their companies and industries. The pilot program is being used by Toyota, book publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and design firm Razorfish. Over 200 companies in 25 countries have signed up for the program, according David Dennis, Microsoft Product Manager.

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Microsoft Teams with Sesame Workshop, NatGeo for Kinected Education

October 19, 2011 -

Microsoft has teamed up with such brands as Sesame Street, National Geographic, and leading academics and learning research institutions to deliver new ways to learn using the Xbox 360 and its full-body motion sensing technology to deliver new ways to learn for young children.

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Microsoft, Razer Win Big at T3 Gadget Awards

October 11, 2011 -

At the fifth annual T3 Gadget Awards last night Microsoft won two of the night's biggest awards, along with the Razer gaming laptop.

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Why Blackwater Game Creators Want to Avoid Controversy

October 4, 2011 -

Speaking to the Associated Press, Blackwater founder Erik Prince and Zombie Studios lead designer Richard Dormer talk about why their upcoming Kinect game based on the controversial security firm has decided to steer clear of blood, killing civilians, swearing, and moral dilemmas.

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Researchers Use Kinect, Doppler Radar to Help Elderly

September 7, 2011 -

Researchers at the University of Missouri and independent living community TigerPlace have been using motion-sensing technology to monitor test and monitor changes in elderly residents’ health for several years. Now, researchers have turned to video game technology combined with security systems as an effective way to detect the early onset of illness and to watch for fall risk in seniors.

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UFC Personal Trainer and Blurring the Lines on Violent Video Games

August 4, 2011 -

Is using a Kinect martial-arts simulator like UFC Personal Trainer like practicing martial arts or like playing a videogame? The answer is neither, according to a guest editorial on Wired's Game|Life written by Paul Ballas, a Philadelphia-area child psychiatrist. Ballas's editorial, "UFC Trainer Is Helpfully Violent," comes to the conclusion that, while UFC Personal Trainer is based on a violent fighting franchise, it could also have positive effects on kids' health.

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Microsoft Shows Off Family Friendly Kinect Gaming to Lawmakers

June 24, 2011 -

Last night Microsoft hosted the second annual Capitol Hill Family Game Night, bringing its games and technology to the nation's capital where policymakers and their families learned more about Kinect, Xbox 360 and various games. The event was presented in cooperation with congressional hosts Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.).

The event, which took place in the Rayburn House Office Building, and featured the controller-free Kinect for Xbox 360 and such games as the upcoming games Kinect: Disneyland Adventures and Dance Central 2. Picturing lawmakers shaking their stuff in front of a camera or flying through the sky like Peter Pan is kind of scary, but apparently all involved had fun.

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Kinect Fun Labs Goes Live on Xbox Live

June 6, 2011 -

During its E3 press conference in Los Angeles today, Microsoft announced Kinect Fun Labs, a place for indie and professional developers to create and share Kinect-related innovations and games. Serving as an incubator for developing new and exciting applications and games for the Kinect device, the general public can check out some of the things that have already been created on Xbox Live via the Kinect fun Labs channel.

Microsoft showed off several interesting applications, including an application to scan yourself into the system and create a more realistic avatar, a screen drawing program that creates drawings in a 3D space and an object capture app that brings to life inanimate objects. While these things are mere experiments, such baubles could easily be implemented into games or into the Xbox Dashboard.

You can check it out now simply by logging on to Xbox Live.


How Kinect is Helping Parkinson's Patients

May 18, 2011 -

Serious games developer Red Hill Studios has developed a series of games designed specifically to help Parkinson's patients using physical therapy. Red Hill is working with the UCSF School of Nursing on the software, which uses Microsoft's Kinect. The software offers users specific motions and gestures that have been proven effective in improving the gait and balance of those suffering from the disease.

"These games demonstrate the value of combining innovative health game designers with a top flight clinical team," said Bob Hone, creative director of Red Hill Studios. "Creating games that are both fun to play and provide concrete medical benefits takes a special kind of team. We are much more than the sum of our parts."

From Red Hill's web site:

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Killzone 3 Controlled by Kinect

March 21, 2011 -

Nothing is impossible with a little ingenuity, some software and some technical wizardry - as evidenced in the following video. While it is a messy implementation, the demonstration in the video shows Microsoft's Kinect being used with the PlayStation 3 game Killzone 3. Hacker Shantanu Goel created a PC program to make it work on the PS3, and as the video shows, the implementation can safely be called "alpha." Even though this Kinect hack has its share of issues, it is nonetheless an interesting and unorthodox way of controlling a game that is already designed to work with move.

3 comments

Playing Street Fighter 4 Using Kinect

January 20, 2011 -

Modder "demize2010" has created a Kinect hack that allows players to control Street Fighter IV using gesture controls. Using a Kinect and the FAAST SDK software, demize2010 managed to map Ryu and Ken's moves to specific gestures. When the user punches, throws a fireball, or kicks, the character does the moves on screen.

You can find out more about it at Kinect Hacks. Check out the video to the left to see it in action.

Source: Joystiq

1 comment

Kinect Makers Raise $50 Million in Funding

January 13, 2011 -

The creators of the Kinect motion sensing technology for Xbox 360 are raking in the investment cash. According to Globes, Israel-based company PrimeSense has raised $50 million in funding. The cash comes from existing investment firms including Silver Lake, Gemini, Genesis, and Caanan Partners. With the additional $50 million, PrimeSense has a total investment of $79 million.

Company president Aviad Maziels says that PrimeSense has had many acquisition offers, but wants to remain independent and remain part of the business community in Israel.

"We constantly get acquisition offers, but we want to be part of an industry in Israel and we don't intend to be easily sold," he said.

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Microsoft Claims It 'Ran Out' of Xbox 360's in December

January 13, 2011 -

According to a couple of short tweets from Microsoft's Larry Hryb, Microsoft ran out of Xbox 360's in December. That shortage may extend to January and February, according to Hryb, who added that the Xbox 360 will see amazing year-over-year growth.

"NPD tomorrow. I found out we ran out of consoles at end of the month so don't expect to win Dec," said Hryb over Twitter.

"Jan/Feb supply is tight as well. Likely amazing YOY growth numbers for Xbox," he added.

Analyst firm Wedbush Morgan predicts that Microsoft sold 2.5 million Xbox 360 units during December, up an incredible 92 percent year-over-year, but did not beat Nintendo, who managed to move 2.6 million Wii's. Sony moved 1.2 million PlayStation 3 units during December, according to Wedbush Morgan.

NPD numbers for December are to be released later today.

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Ballmer: Kinect Support Coming to PC

January 7, 2011 -

For those who may have been wondering if Microsoft would "officially" support Kinect on the PC, wonder no more. During CES this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed that its camera-based motion sensing controller.

"We’ll support that in a formal way, in the right time," Ballmer told the BBC. "When we have an announcement to make, we’ll make it."

Of course, hackers and programmers have been making interesting hacks to the peripheral that do everything from controlling robots to making games like Ubisoft's RUSE playable using the device.

"We certainly started out with Xbox, very focused on gaming," Ballmer told the BBC. "We’re trying to do two major things. We’re trying to move beyond gaming and include the world of socialization, TV, movies, music. And we’re trying to make the whole experience accessible to everybody in the family, not just the traditional gamer."

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Microsoft Rolls out the Big Numbers in CES Keynote

January 6, 2011 -

Microsoft announced during its Consumer Electronics Expo keynote that it managed to sell 8 million Kinect units in the last 60 days. This was well below what the company projected back in November - 5 million units. Microsoft did not details how these units were sold - bundles, single SKU's or packed in with systems.

Most analyst were conservative in their estimates of Kinect sales by the end of January: most predicted 4.5 million sold by the end of January. It turns out they were way off the mark on that one.

Microsoft also announced that 30 million people have accounts on Xbox Live, though how many are gold and silver level subscriptions were not disclosed. This number is up five million from November 2010.

Finally, Microsoft said that 50 million Xbox 360 units have been sold worldwide to date. Again, no details on how many of those units sold in the last 60 days were bundled with Kinect.

3 comments

GameStop Enjoys Record Holiday Season

January 6, 2011 -

Video game retailer GameStop reported record sales of $3.02 billion for the nine-week holiday season that ended on January 1. This marked a 5.4 percent increase over the same period last year, driven by Kinect sales, and "strong sell through" of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The company also reported 32 percent growth in gift card sales during the month of December.

New hardware sales improved 7.4 percent based mostly on the successful debut of Microsoft's Kinect. New video game software sales increased 3.3 percent.

Microsoft Denies Kinect Red Ring Connection

January 6, 2011 -

Is Microsoft's Kinect peripheral causing Xbox 360's everywhere to fail? That's the question a BBC report asks. Microsoft says that all of this talk of "Red Rings and Kinect" is coincidental.

Admittedly, BBC Radio 4's You and Yours program doesn't gather much evidence on the matter. The program talks to a ten-year named old Adam Winnifrith, whose console "red-ringed" after connecting the Kinect to it. The next morning, his Xbox 360 continued to show the dreaded international distress signal for "Xbox 360 down."  

"We plugged it in the day we got it but only played it a few times before we got the red lights," said Adam. "The next day when we tried it again we still had the red rings of death and haven't been able to use it since."

Microsoft says that this is all mere coincidence.

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RUSE using Kinect on PC

January 3, 2011 -

German multi-touch display manufacturer Evolouce has been mucking about with Kinect and has managed to create a hack that allows PC gamers to play Ubisoft's RUSE the way it was meant to be played.

Using this hack, the user's right hand controls cursor movement, while the left hand acts as the left mouse button command for unit selection, giving orders, and more.

The video to the left shows it all off. Xbox 360 developers may want to pay close attention to how these developers use Kinect to make a real-time strategy game work with a special input device.. Perhaps this new application of the technology can be ported back to the 360 to make strategy games suck less on consoles?

Source: VG247 by way of RPS


Play World of Warcraft Using Kinect

December 28, 2010 -

Researchers at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies have software that enables PC games to work with Microsoft's Kinect sensor. The software is called Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST). It apparently emulates custom configured keyboard controls that are activated by body movements.

The most interesting part about this software can be seen in the video embedded in this story - it shows researchers playing World of Warcraft using the Kinect and the toolkit.

While the software is interesting for games, it may have other more practical uses such as "active gaming" to fight childhood obesity or "motor rehabilitation" for stoke victims.

Check out the video. For a technical overview of the software, check out ict.usc.edu.

1 comment | Read more

Kinect, Sex Games, and Your Local News

December 27, 2010 -

What is the best way to handle a news story about an adult-themed Kinect game you might have seen on YouTube? Create a report about it where parents are concerned about their kids playing it. Forget for a minute that it's not actually available on a regular retail Xbox 360 with a Kinect, or that it is basically just a video floating around YouTube..

That is exactly what Martina Valverde, Morning News Reporter at KFox TV in El Paso, Texas did in a report called Adult Video Game In The Works For Kinect System Has Parents Concerned. In the report, she apparently brings the video of an adult groping game to the attention of parents who have a five-year-old son. The son got the game system for Christmas.

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PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
 

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