E3 2013: We get some time with Xbox One's Kinect

Microsoft's Xbox One will come with the Kinect motion and voice recognition hardware as part of the package - which goes some way to explaining why Microsoft decided to set the price of the console at $499. Today at E3 2013 we got some time with the new version of the Kinect hardware in Microsoft's booth.

As we reported in May, the new Kinect can support up to six people at once. In the demo at E3, we got to see how the Kinect camera can be switched to show different modes. One of them replicates the people in the room in a full 3D environment, along with parts of the room itself. By the way, that's me on the left of the picture.

The new Kinect can not only register more of the human body, but it can also record how much muscle force is being used by our limbs at the time. We saw how our body's outline changes color when, for example, we put a lot of pressure on one leg. The icon on the screen in front of me turned red the more I put my foot down, then went to yellow when I returned to normal.

Another thing the new Kinect can do is measure your heart rate - and yes, that's me again. This kind of feature might be of use in fitness programs and dance games for the Xbox One. There's another feature that shows how much force a human can generate by just moving their arms. The force is depicted by circles that come from the body, such as fists that are moved and punched in from the Kinect sensor.

Finally, the new Kinect can be used with cartoony icons that can show if a person is happy, sad, or angry based on their facial expressions. This could allow games or apps to use animated figures that can be influenced by just the gamer's facial movements.

The new Kinect is certainly a powerful device and including it with the Xbox One gives the console something extra that neither Sony nor Nintendo are offering as part of the core package. The big question is whether or not consumers will see past the $499 price tag.

Neowin's E3 2013 coverage is sponsored by Alienware

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Have they even announced any games that will use these features? So far pretty much none of them do, and the ones that do, I'm not interested in playing. It's like the 360's Kinect all over again...

Why are some people still talking about the $100 price delta? With the PS4 Camera the price is $40.00 difference for like equipment. XBOX ONE is more feature rich for Media Content for Home. Can't compare performance until it has been really tested. No paper testing results will net a real answer.

Even if bundled in the PS4 for $450.00 - the $50 won't be the deciding factor in the purchase for most of the people. It will be the games and the full experience.

I pre-ordered already XBOX ONE that is.

Is its depth of field able to pick you up when leaned back into a couch or chair? The current Kinect has trouble seeing you if you are sitting fully back into a couch. This is a big pain in the butt.

Enron said,
That's some pretty impressive technology. I wonder if the new Kinect can detect an erection.

yes it will, then again Kinect will understand and show u more porn, isn't that cool?

Enron said,
That's some pretty impressive technology. I wonder if the new Kinect can detect an erection.
WTH? LOL! When this thing is released for desktops, I'm sure it will detect many erections.

Enron said,
I wonder if the new Kinect can detect an erection.

No, it will detect you DON'T have an erection when you should and start offering straight/gay porn and Viagra ads intermittently.

I currently have a Kinect and this new one looks very nice. But, I'd rather Microsoft drop the price and sell an XboxOne without the Kinect. After my daughter used my Kinect for a couple of months, Its been sitting on our entertainment center for almost 2 years.

JHBrown said,
I currently have a Kinect and this new one looks very nice. But, I'd rather Microsoft drop the price and sell an XboxOne without the Kinect. After my daughter used my Kinect for a couple of months, Its been sitting on our entertainment center for almost 2 years.

that's because the 360 is pretty limited. XboxOne will do more

I like how you can talk to your Xbox any time. It's like the computer on Star Trek. They just need this thing to heat up some earl grey.

JHBrown said,
I currently have a Kinect and this new one looks very nice. But, I'd rather Microsoft drop the price and sell an XboxOne without the Kinect. After my daughter used my Kinect for a couple of months, Its been sitting on our entertainment center for almost 2 years.

When it comes to consoles, what is standard equipment is key. There are far fewer developers willing to limit their software to optional equipment like the original kinect or the HD-DVD.

Enron said,
I like how you can talk to your Xbox any time. It's like the computer on Star Trek. They just need this thing to heat up some earl grey.

+1 for Earl Grey.

I'm really interested on how well the new Kinect works.
The one with the 360 is quite awesome, although depends on the games though.
All in all, I've found it to work great.

Spicoli said,
It doesn't zap you. It explodes. I saw the demo.

Was it such a sensitive question? I am just curious. I think the last time I played with a console was in the late '70s......

Fritzly said,

Was it such a sensitive question? I am just curious. I think the last time I played with a console was in the late '70s......

You have to have it connected when the Xbox is on, you can unplug it when it's off.

Here's my issue w/ Kinect. While the new Kinect looks great and seems vastly superior to the first, it's going to be overshadowed by the $100 more in price than a PS4.

Don't get me wrong, I feel that $100 for Kinect 2 is a justified price point in what tech it has in it. It just should be OPTIONAL. W/ Kinect 1, people complained, well, there are only kiddie games for it. MS basically said "Well, it's optional, and is family oriented" That argument is out the window now. This is now a requirement to have, and the end user is going to pay for it.

This would be all well and good IF, and here's the bigger IF, developers use this in HARDCORE games. I'm not just talking about the voice commands that you've ONLY seen what has been done w/ the hardcore games. If Mirror's Edge 2 doesn't incorporate Full Kinect controls, then that extra $100 is worthless. If Halo 5 doesn't incorporate Kinect controls, then that extra $100 is worthless. MS needs to LEAD in this regard, and hopefully, incorporate Kinect 2 in Halo 5. Hell, they should have had a hardcore launch title for Kinect (That could have blown away anything PS4 could offer in the motion capture category)

Now, in order to get game devs to support a peripheral, the console has to have mass marketshare. That is going to be a tough sell w/ a $100 more price point, not to mention the Anti-consumer 24-hr check-in and Used games policies.

Spicoli said,
.....

Says You.
Anyone who says this has a lack of imagination.
There are plenty of instances where hardcore games could benefit.
You have to remember that this iteration is capturing an incredible amount of information, compositing it with a 2-frame latency.

While each technology in the Kinect for XBOX ONE demo interesting, the composition is incredible.

Combine this with future iterations of the Ignite engine has me quite intrigued to say the least.

Spicoli said,
How would you implement a Kinect in a "hardcore" game?

I got a few ideas on that but it would probably get my account banned if I posted it.

Seriously though.. perhaps fighting games (fists, swordplay etc), stuff like that.. stuff that's been typically hinted at but poorly executed in previous consoles.

"it's also for Skyping, voice command to switch channel, AV input"

...and that's not what a gaming console is for. Core gamers don't want to pay that extra $100, why not give them the option?

I think more than Dance and fitness games can use this, imagine how much better you could make a horror game based on the persons heart rate.

I'm not sure the ability to monitor a heart beat should be put in John Carmack's hands.

Nor Konami's either thinking about Silent Hill.

I still can't figure out how it can read your heatbeat from a remote camera device. Surely the camera isn't good enough to read the pulse in your veins, or the microphone sensitive enough to actually listen to you heartbeat?

Impressive nonetheless though.

TCLN Ryster said,
I still can't figure out how it can read your heatbeat from a remote camera device. Surely the camera isn't good enough to read the pulse in your veins, or the microphone sensitive enough to actually listen to you heartbeat?

Impressive nonetheless though.


There was a link someone posted a while back about it (which I sadly didn't save, but I'll still check), basically IIRC it gets some clues from your face and skin to make a good guess

Edit: OK, pretty sure this is it - from http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001...ps-tabs-on-your-heart-rate/

"When oxygenated blood comes to my face, we can't see it with our bare eyes but computer vision algorithms can pick up the small changes in the color [of the face]" and give you an indication of your health, Achin Bhowmik, director of perceptual computing at Intel, said in the demonstration.

Crimson Rain said,
I can detect your blood pigments under your skin or something like that...

you can or is that you kinect?

Matthew_Thepc said,

Edit: OK, pretty sure this is it - from http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001...ps-tabs-on-your-heart-rate/

"When oxygenated blood comes to my face, we can't see it with our bare eyes but computer vision algorithms can pick up the small changes in the color [of the face]" and give you an indication of your health, Achin Bhowmik, director of perceptual computing at Intel, said in the demonstration.

Even earlier than that.

In mid-2012, some computer scientists from MIT did a demonstration of heartbeat amplification by video analysis. http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-07/25/mit-algorithm

For a sufficiently large payment, anyone can license the technology from MIT and implement it in their hardware. The question is whether Intel and Microsoft did that -- or whether they invented around the patent.

Hmm, makes sense that they can take measurements with IR, but I don't see how visible light would give much info for people who aren't white.

I don't think this method is actually all that accurate, it might give you an indication to if your heartrate is 60 or 90 but it certainly will not used where an accurate heart rate is needed.