Kinect 2 to read lips and even sense emotion?

Microsoft's next version of its Kinect motion sensing technology could be so advanced, it could have the ability to actually read your lips. That's according to a story over at Eurogamer, which cites unnamed sources. The story claims that in addition to lip reading, the next version of the Kinect will also be able to detect whether or not a person is angry and which direction a person is facing.

The original Kinect, released in November 2010 as an add-on for the Xbox 360 console, was limited somewhat due to the console's USB connection. That meant that the depth sensor had an artificial limit of just 30 frames per second along with a resolution of just 320x240. Kinect 2, which the story claims will be bundled with the next version of Microsoft' Xbox game console, won't have those kind of artifical limits.

The story quotes its unnamed source as saying, "It can be cabled straight through on any number of technologies that just take phenomenally high res data straight to the main processor and straight to the main RAM and ask, what do you want to do with it?"

The story says that Kinect 2 will be able to track features such as the volume and pitch of human voice along with different kinds of facial motions. This would, in theory, allow the Kinect 2 to track different kinds of emotions in a Xbox console player. Naturally, Microsoft has taken the high road on this story, claiming in an official statement that it does not comment on rumors or speculation.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

iPhone self-combusts on Australian airliner

Next Story

Review: Synology DiskStation DS212

25 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Estienne Taylor said,
Kinect just keeps getting better as it evolves.

Yep. Apple could only dream of technology like this.

Considering actual PEOPLE have a hard time reading other people moods, I find it hard to believe someone is going to make a Kinect capable of doing it. Also, the lip reading is probably going to be more in line with "Lip reading + comparing to voice = More accurate voice control" rather then just straight up "Lip Reading"

While I am a firm believer in the ever advancing pace of technology, I also read Pop-Sci and understand the CURRENT LIMITS and whats "On the Cusp" and "Being researched".

idk, having programmed using it [Kinect 1], it has some problems that a better SDK would probably help. My concern is that if they can't work out the SKD issues (which I don't think they can, as my program had the same lag problems that the kinect dashboard has), the Kinect gen 1 is going to be a bust.

greenwizard88 said,
idk, having programmed using it [Kinect 1], it has some problems that a better SDK would probably help. My concern is that if they can't work out the SKD issues (which I don't think they can, as my program had the same lag problems that the kinect dashboard has), the Kinect gen 1 is going to be a bust.

Um, Kinect is already out & has been doing well...

They were also trying to come to a competitive price point for the technology at the time that it was released. I'm sure that played a role in the limitations as well.

Price will also play a role in the future console generation. I suspect that the next XBox will have a Kinect bundle and a non-Kinect bundle. Microsoft's strategy of having multiple system options at varying price points has worked well with them, and I don't see them abandoning this just to get Kinect in everyone's living room.

Also, the Kinect sensor is ugly. I wish mine would disappear automatically when I'm not using it...

i guess that means we will get usb3 on xbox 720 then:) or maybe a usb3 with a dodgy connector on the end so we have to pay loads for propitiatory hardware.

torrentthief said,
i guess that means we will get usb3 on xbox 720 then:) or maybe a usb3 with a dodgy connector on the end so we have to pay loads for propitiatory hardware.

I think USB3 is a given until proven otherwise. I don't see why they wouldn't support it, we're talking 2013 probably.

"limited somewhat due to the console's USB connection" that seems like a line of BS to me, 480Mbit is limited? we can do full 1080p video on USB at 60fps and we cant do 640x480 plus a data stream on kinect? hardly a USB limitation, more like software limitations

neufuse said,
"limited somewhat due to the console's USB connection" that seems like a line of BS to me, 480Mbit is limited? we can do full 1080p video on USB at 60fps and we cant do 640x480 plus a data stream on kinect? hardly a USB limitation, more like software limitations

I believe it's more that there wasn't enough available USB data bandwidth inside the Xbox 360 to handle it along with properly supporting all the other USB ports.

~Johnny said,

I believe it's more that there wasn't enough available USB data bandwidth inside the Xbox 360 to handle it along with properly supporting all the other USB ports.


Correct

~Johnny said,

I believe it's more that there wasn't enough available USB data bandwidth inside the Xbox 360 to handle it along with properly supporting all the other USB ports.

alright, that makes more sense if they put a limited USB controller in the XBOX, but the article made it sound like the Kinect device was the issue since it was USB

There is also the issue of processing power in the 360. Sure, it could probably chew on 1080p video, but good luck chewing on that right simultaneously presenting a decent game.

That's why most games are still just tech previews. Lots of folks want to see Kinect gestures just incorporated into their controller games. For instance, casting a spell with a flick of the rest, while moving and doing other operations with the controller. But game makers don't want to incorporate this because they will lose frame rates.

neufuse said,
"limited somewhat due to the console's USB connection" that seems like a line of BS to me, 480Mbit is limited? we can do full 1080p video on USB at 60fps and we cant do 640x480 plus a data stream on kinect? hardly a USB limitation, more like software limitations

Don't forget though that Kinect isn't just a simple single video camera. It projects thousands of infrared dots that the one of the cameras has to track the depth of. That's ALOT of information.

TCLN Ryster said,

Don't forget though that Kinect isn't just a simple single video camera. It projects thousands of infrared dots that the one of the cameras has to track the depth of. That's ALOT of information.

and if it was done right that would all be processed by the device then the result sent to the computer's cpu not send a massive stream of data to a cpu and saying here you deal with it

neufuse said,

and if it was done right that would all be processed by the device then the result sent to the computer's cpu not send a massive stream of data to a cpu and saying here you deal with it

And the price of the unit would be $200 or more instead of $150 or less. You need to take cost into account not just add more into something because you can.

neufuse said,
"limited somewhat due to the console's USB connection" that seems like a line of BS to me, 480Mbit is limited? we can do full 1080p video on USB at 60fps and we cant do 640x480 plus a data stream on kinect? hardly a USB limitation, more like software limitations

Well for one USB is not 480mbps. It's 480mbps at peak, and it's a burst protocol, average is far lower. And yes you can do "compressed" 1080 over that.remember also that the kinect sends two video signals, and the depth one needs to be s clear as possible meaning no lossy compression.

And then there's the other things that need the USB bandwidth, controllers, memory, wifi....

NXTwoThou said,
Uhm, isn't the current generation 640x480?

yeah, they just failed to mention that a software update bumped it to 640x480