Researchers Use Kinect to Control a Cockroach

June 26, 2013 -

Researchers from North Carolina State University are using cockroaches and Microsoft's Kinect sensor for an experiment that allows them to drive the little insects around. Using Microsoft's motion-sensing Kinect technology and some electronics, they've figured out how to control a cockroach in real life.

The team of scientists working on this bizarre project hope that a remote-controlled cockroach could one day be used in disaster search-and-rescue scenarios, such as mapping out a collapsed building or finding survivors.

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Kinect May Run Afoul of Proposed We Are Watching You Act

June 19, 2013 -

The newly designed Kinect for Xbox One may run afoul of a bill called the "We Are Watching You Act," if it becomes law. The law sponsored by Congressman Michael Capuano (D-MA) and Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC), requires companies to "explicitly" ask consumers for permission to store their data. The device would also have to inform the user how the data is collected and who will see it after it is collected.

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Xbox One Answers: Always On, Game Trades, Kinect Privacy

June 6, 2013 -

Got Xbox One questions?

Of course you do.  Microsoft's messaging since its console unveiling has been a confusing mess.  Does Xbox One require an internet connection to play offline?  Does it block used games?  Can the all-seeing eye of the Kinect be turned off?

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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.

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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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Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
E. Zachary KnightAnyway, I am off to bed. I will probably wake up to all of this being knocked off the shout box.09/20/2014 - 12:20am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, that is the type of reading too much into things that bugs me. Ben did no such thing. Greg had the last word in that part of the exchange. The rest was about how to approach the story and Quinn.09/20/2014 - 12:19am
Andrew EisenSo?09/20/2014 - 12:13am
KronoExcept that the forum thread wasn't harassment, and Kuchera continued to push for the thread's removal after Tito made it clear he didn't consider it harassment.09/20/2014 - 12:12am
Andrew EisenPersonally, I see nothing wrong with someone offering their opinion or the other person making up their own mind on how to run their site.09/20/2014 - 12:06am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, I read nothing of the sort in that email chain. I read Ben giving advice on what to do when a forum thread is used to harass someone and spread falshoods about them and others.09/20/2014 - 12:05am
KronoThat's exactly what Ben Kuchera was doing to Greg Tito.09/19/2014 - 11:58pm
Krono@EZK So you see nothing wrong with one journalist pressuring a journalist from a different organization to not only not run a story, but to censor a civil discussion already taking place?09/19/2014 - 11:56pm
E. Zachary KnightI write for a number of blogs and talk to people who write similar blogs all the time for tips and advice. I see nothing wrong with that.09/19/2014 - 11:50pm
E. Zachary KnightI read that comment now and frankly, I think that guy is reading too much into this. The press talk to each other. It happens. There is nothing that can be done to stop it from happening.09/19/2014 - 11:49pm
KronoUnfortunately it seems unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.09/19/2014 - 11:45pm
Krono@EZK No that's not the comment. As for wanting nothing do with any of it, that's perfectly understandable.09/19/2014 - 11:44pm
 

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