Microsoft creates a video to show the power of Kinect, nails it

Anyone who has ever used a Microsoft Kinect knows that the potential for the platform is nothing short of game changing. While the implementation on the Xbox 360 has been incredible, this is only scratching the surface as Microsoft has shown in a newly created video.

Not only is Kinect breaking down barriers, but it is also one year old today. The platform had explosive growth when first announced and its future looks bright if the video below is anything to judge the product by.

The video shows all of the alternative uses for the platform in a well composed video that encompasses the potential and future for the add on device. It is expected that Windows 8 will natively support Kinect which will open the doors even further to the potential of the platform. Kinect is the future for interacting with technology; Microsoft knows it and is working hard to make it a reality.

Video Credit: Xbox

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I think Microsoft intended to release project natal as an innovation device. It really is a rather futuristic interaction, despite the concept being rather simple.

The Kinect is probably, in my opinion, one of Microsoft's greatest developments. I've never really been a fan of the Windows operating system except to use software that isn't available natively for other systems, and I got tired of RPGs on the 360 spanning multiple DVDs so I sold it and bought a PS3/Move, but I have to give credit where credit is due. The Kinect is an outstanding product, and the fact that they left its USB connection open so people could develop with it was an unexpected and pleasant bonus. They opened up a world of not only navigating your XBox with hand gestures, but with doing just about anything you want.

Amazing. This is technology for the humanity. This is the way Microsoft should keep it focus from now on. Go innovation!.

While I do think there could be endless uses for the kinect other than gaming, I don't think the violin is a good choice for it.

The violin is the hardest of all instruments to perfect. You need to feel it physically to understand all the nooks and crannies. This is not something that you can see, it's a feel. Also, this means the sound is not authentic. There's a difference between real string music and digital strings

They are vision videos. Nothing more. You can go back and see the vision videos for kinect back when it was called natal that was shown at E3 a few years back. The vision video was great, the crowd and media went wild and none of it materialized.

It's what Microsoft does, tells you what their vision of the future but never delivers it.

Unless your dancing, kinect is useless. And I used to watch people dance in front of their tv's to shows even before we started recording off of our vhs players.

Most of the uses in that video are utterly useless, especially the playing of instruments such as a cello and violin. Anyone playing at a level where they are in a recording studio will be playing a REAL instrument, and not relying on software to figure out the exact positioning of their fingers, movement of the bow, etc. The subtleties of the movements involved in playing a musical instrument are far too fine to be left up to software, and any time spent on perfecting any software, or hardware, to replicate it is a waste, as it would be cheaper, and easier, to just play the real damn instrument.

like the ad a lot. Kinect has a lot of potential in it to grow. Having said that, even if Kinect is able to airplay a voilin, would that be something practical? the touch feel is very important in the overall experience. Something that will never be there with Kinect. I think some of the key things were like the surgeon who cant touch stuff to avoid contamination. Kinect would totally work in that scenario. Voilin? it may become more of a game than an actual learning tool.

Hm thinking about it.. I think kinect could work with desktops to replace touch screens. You get all the funcionality of having a touch 24" monitor without having to actually touch your monitor.
Sit back in your chair and pretend to touch the screen while camera detects it as if you are actually touching it. I think this type of technology can replace need for touch on desktop computers.

Kinect=great technology but not realized to fullest potential because it's an addon to a game console. They should have launched as an input controller first for Windows PCs and then make it "also work with Xbox 360".

xpclient said,
Kinect=great technology but not realized to fullest potential because it's an addon to a game console. They should have launched as an input controller first for Windows PCs and then make it "also work with Xbox 360".

You got it wrong there bud. They made the best choice so far with the release platform, the Xbox.

xpclient said,
....

I bet it will be a requirement for "Designed for Windows 9" displays. Be it a Television, PC Monitor, or integrated into mobile display, it will become a part of base Windows hardware within two versions.

On second thought. it won't be tied to a display, but rather a requirement for OEMs to market as "Designed for Windows Nine"

ctrl_alt_delete said,

You got it wrong there bud. They made the best choice so far with the release platform, the Xbox.

Not everyone has an Xbox but almost everyone has a Windows PC (except the Mac users of course).

xpclient said,
Kinect=great technology but not realized to fullest potential because it's an addon to a game console. They should have launched as an input controller first for Windows PCs and then make it "also work with Xbox 360".

I don't own an Xbox and I'm quite alright with the Kinect as an add on for the Xbox. To start. Let them work out issues and adjustments on a gaming system, using specifically designed video games. No better way to test it. When it's ready, then we move it to mainstream (read: other uses). This was the perfect set up by Microsoft.

Why are they all attractive chicks. It would better if one of these ad creators would have like a big fat nasty chick using the connect. I mean they are going for real life after all. I see why more of those than I do slender attractive women.

dotf said,

It would be better for this poster to learn English and use proper grammar when posting thoughtless comments.

Sorry about that I wrote it in a hurry. Let me try again

Why do these types of videos always use thin, attractive looking women? I know sex sells and everything, but if they are trying to represent the real world, they should use overweight women. Rarely do I ever see slender women. On occasion I'll see an average sized one but most of them are fat.

warwagon said,

Sorry about that I wrote it in a hurry. Let me try again

Why do these types of videos always use thin, attractive looking women? I know sex sells and everything, but if they are trying to represent the real world, they should use overweight women. Rarely do I ever see slender women. On occasion I'll see an average sized one but most of them are fat.

Well sorry if where you live, people in your perception happen to be fat. But the majority of people in America aren't fat, so it's not like the ad is pretending to make an issue out of something that isn't.

Very nice. I particularly love the doctor using Kinect so he keeps his hands clean not having to touch things. This should be rolled out to Hospitals now...

M_Lyons10 said,
Very nice. I particularly love the doctor using Kinect so he keeps his hands clean not having to touch things. This should be rolled out to Hospitals now...

Or...

They can just have available, and posted on light boards, all the scans and x-rays, etc. that are needed, with no need to step away, swipe your hand a bunch of times, then go back to the surgery.

But yeah, they can also use a video screen and kinect ...

The ad shows that Kinect can be used for more than what it was originally designed for. And by that, I mean more than just gaming. The potential use of a more refined and accurate Kinect is almost endless. It could be used for teaching purposes, neuro-rehabilitation, and more. Of course, this is all possible with the Kinect right now.

Hmmm while the ad is put together well the fidelity it shows is just not possible on Kinect. The hand gestures work gennerally but some of the fine motor controls will never be possible with this Kinect maybe by the time the 3rd gen version comes out.

mattacular said,
Hmmm while the ad is put together well the fidelity it shows is just not possible on Kinect. The hand gestures work gennerally but some of the fine motor controls will never be possible with this Kinect maybe by the time the 3rd gen version comes out.

You do realize that the tech shown in the video is "real" right? They even showed a few lines of code for the software that was being used. There's no need for waiting until the 3rd gen version, when the 1st gen version already does it. It will always be down to the software with this device.

IceBreakerG said,

You do realize that the tech shown in the video is "real" right? They even showed a few lines of code for the software that was being used. There's no need for waiting until the 3rd gen version, when the 1st gen version already does it. It will always be down to the software with this device.


Yes because the disclaimer that the "depictions are visionary" is just there for no reason.

IceBreakerG said,

You do realize that the tech shown in the video is "real" right? They even showed a few lines of code for the software that was being used. There's no need for waiting until the 3rd gen version, when the 1st gen version already does it. It will always be down to the software with this device.


And you are wrong that it all comes down to the software, the hardware is pretty damn important too. In fact the earlier prototypes of Kinect could do a lot more than the one released to retail. In order to cut costs MS halved the resolution of the camera, and as a result it no longer has the fidelity to pick up finer movements:
http://www.eurogamer.net/artic...ead-sign-language-after-all

mattacular said,

Yes because the disclaimer that the "depictions are visionary" is just there for no reason.

Lol so true. Some people will believe anything they see.
As it stands currently the Kinect is not capable of half of what was shown, especially accurately monitoring someone "airplaying" a violin.
Nice Ad and all but to say they "nailed" showing the power of Kinect is stretching the truth at best.

Actually, the hardware in Kinect is more than capable of this. The limitation is simply bandwidth, USB2 doesn't have enough. They've stated repeatedly that the sensors in Kinect are capable of a lot more, it's just getting that data through the Bus that reduces accuracy. There was a report a while ago that Microsoft was working on a compression technique that would allow a big increase in accuracy and ability.
But hell, look what's right around the corner - USB3, with absolutely oodles of bandwidth. Yes, there may need to be a new Kinect Sensor with USB plugs on it, but that simple change alone would actually unlock all of what you see here with no real increase in cost.

IceBreakerG said,

They even showed a few lines of code for the software that was being used..

Yep. Typing "things_we_hadnt_even_thought_of" makes the magic happen.

Kushan said,
Actually, the hardware in Kinect is more than capable of this. The limitation is simply bandwidth, USB2 doesn't have enough. They've stated repeatedly that the sensors in Kinect are capable of a lot more, it's just getting that data through the Bus that reduces accuracy. There was a report a while ago that Microsoft was working on a compression technique that would allow a big increase in accuracy and ability.
But hell, look what's right around the corner - USB3, with absolutely oodles of bandwidth. Yes, there may need to be a new Kinect Sensor with USB plugs on it, but that simple change alone would actually unlock all of what you see here with no real increase in cost.

Do you honestly believe that these specs are enough for detailed and accurate motion capture like shown in the video?
Data Streams
320x240 16-bit depth @ 30 frames/sec
640x480 32-bit colour@ 30 frames/sec
Tracks 20 joints per active player

mattacular said,

And you are wrong that it all comes down to the software, the hardware is pretty damn important too. In fact the earlier prototypes of Kinect could do a lot more than the one released to retail. In order to cut costs MS halved the resolution of the camera, and as a result it no longer has the fidelity to pick up finer movements:
http://www.eurogamer.net/artic...ead-sign-language-after-all

The camera res was not actually halved, just functionally halved (for the depth sensor) due to bandwidth limitations. It was reported a bit back that MS was working on a new codec for the video streams on the Kinect to use that would allow for full resolution on both cameras to be used

Sraf said,

The camera res was not actually halved, just functionally halved (for the depth sensor) due to bandwidth limitations. It was reported a bit back that MS was working on a new codec for the video streams on the Kinect to use that would allow for full resolution on both cameras to be used


Fine maybe so but do you really expect me to believe that Kinect can track the fine finger movements required to play a violin or a cello? I'm just not buying it.

mattacular said,

Fine maybe so but do you really expect me to believe that Kinect can track the fine finger movements required to play a violin or a cello? I'm just not buying it.

At 640 X 480 (Sensor's full resolution, which was halved for the aforementioned bandwidth issue) it should be able to IF, and I must stress that "if", you are close enough to the sensor

For a butt on a couch, TV at the other end of the room, no, you'd be correct, and I'd think that you'd have to double the horizontal and vertical resolutions again in order for that to work

(Remember, the Kinect's depth sensor is currently limited to 320 X 240, one quarter its full possible resolution)

mattacular said,

Fine maybe so but do you really expect me to believe that Kinect can track the fine finger movements required to play a violin or a cello? I'm just not buying it.

I have a feeling that Bill Gates could come to your house and beat you over the head with a Kinect and you still wouldn't believe.

ahhell said,

I have a feeling that Bill Gates could come to your house and beat you over the head with a Kinect and you still wouldn't believe.

Sure show me a game (or anything for that matter) that can accurately track fingers like the video showed and I'll believe you.

the better twin said,

Do you honestly believe that these specs are enough for detailed and accurate motion capture like shown in the video?
Data Streams
320x240 16-bit depth @ 30 frames/sec
640x480 32-bit colour@ 30 frames/sec
Tracks 20 joints per active player

Did you actually read what I said? I specifically pointed out that Kinect is limited by bandwidth. What you posted is the bandwidth-limited specs. So what's your point, exactly?

the better twin said,
Tracks 20 joints per active player

That last point my boy, is software.
MSR have already come up with a new software algorithm that can do realtime joint tracking of the entire skeletal system. Getting it into a consumer product or SDK will take time.

mattacular said,

Sure show me a game (or anything for that matter) that can accurately track fingers like the video showed and I'll believe you.

No one is saying their is. They are saying, with the right conditions the Kinect device out there today is capable. The stuff in the video might be visionary but if you go to Kinecthacks.net you will see there are hundreds of projects being worked on my amateurs and professionals. Where do you think the inspiration for the ideas depicted in this video came from? For what Kinect v1 can't do, v2 will be able to.

mattacular said,

Sure show me a game (or anything for that matter) that can accurately track fingers like the video showed and I'll believe you.

http://marketplace.xbox.com/en...77fe-1000-9115-d8024d5309df

This is as close to that as you're going to see with what's available right now. And again, the software is a very big part of kinect, and as others have said, bandwidth is a big part of it. Microsoft took out a few things to make it more affordable (like making the xbox do the processing instead of the device itself), but the software will always be what drives it. So just because the software depicted in the video isn't available "right now" doesn't mean we need new hardware to get that functionality.

mattacular said,

Sure show me a game (or anything for that matter) that can accurately track fingers like the video showed and I'll believe you.

This is something that has been talked about to death, and yet you are in here throwing out your 'doubt' and 'opinion' with little understanding, let alone taking 5secs to do an internet search.

As for your request, here is a sample video at the bottom of the page (before the XBox update), it shows that with the 640x480 infrared camera, it can easily see FINGERS.

http://www.eurogamer.net/artic...quadrupling-kinect-accuracy

With the original release of Kinect, the goal was 21 skeletal points, which was easy to do with just 320x240, and why it shipped with the Color camera having resolution priority, as the additional data was not needed for the shipping goal.

As stated above, the limitation was a bandwidth issue. *note the word 'was'...

The early implementation of the upgrade already went live earlier this year, although only a couple of shipping titles specifically take advantage of the higher resolution of the motion camera.

The early upgrade flipped priority so that instead of keeping audio or two video streams it can select what it needs. i.e. Instead of the color camera putting out 640x480, it can be reduced to 320x240 and the infrared camera can use 640x480.

Since that update, Microsoft has developed several new updates to Kinect that add in compression, and also shift USB allocation - which is why it can't share the port with other devices, and MUST use the back USB port on the non-kinect models.

Some of these updates are live, and some are coming in the dashboard/OS update coming at the end of November, that will use more fluid hand gestures for the entire dashboard interface.

Here is a good tip... The next time you stop to type a response to proclaim that something is not possible, you might want to hit Bing or Google and make sure you don't sound foolish. It also seems a little strange that you would be certain about something, if you haven't followed the subject and only have opinion based on information provided over a year ago.

Take care...

thenetavenger said,

This is something that has been talked about to death, and yet you are in here throwing out your 'doubt' and 'opinion' with little understanding, let alone taking 5secs to do an internet search.

As for your request, here is a sample video at the bottom of the page (before the XBox update), it shows that with the 640x480 infrared camera, it can easily see FINGERS.

http://www.eurogamer.net/artic...quadrupling-kinect-accuracy

With the original release of Kinect, the goal was 21 skeletal points, which was easy to do with just 320x240, and why it shipped with the Color camera having resolution priority, as the additional data was not needed for the shipping goal.

As stated above, the limitation was a bandwidth issue. *note the word 'was'...

The early implementation of the upgrade already went live earlier this year, although only a couple of shipping titles specifically take advantage of the higher resolution of the motion camera.

The early upgrade flipped priority so that instead of keeping audio or two video streams it can select what it needs. i.e. Instead of the color camera putting out 640x480, it can be reduced to 320x240 and the infrared camera can use 640x480.

Since that update, Microsoft has developed several new updates to Kinect that add in compression, and also shift USB allocation - which is why it can't share the port with other devices, and MUST use the back USB port on the non-kinect models.

Some of these updates are live, and some are coming in the dashboard/OS update coming at the end of November, that will use more fluid hand gestures for the entire dashboard interface.

Here is a good tip... The next time you stop to type a response to proclaim that something is not possible, you might want to hit Bing or Google and make sure you don't sound foolish. It also seems a little strange that you would be certain about something, if you haven't followed the subject and only have opinion based on information provided over a year ago.

Take care...

I can attest to this because I've noticed Kinects accuracy get better and better over the last year. When it shipped you couldn't sit on your couch in front of your TV and make hand gestures. Now in a room full of people, I can sit in a chair off to the side and it follows me almost perfectly.

They should show this ad in theatres right after the lights go out. Just watched this on fullscreen with good headphones and it's a pretty amazing ad, really makes you dream...

There is something curious about this.........except on the device, the ad says nothing about Xbox 360.......

Microsoft has finally seen that this is much more than for the Xbox 360. It is part of the future.

Cant wait for Kinect 2.0

htcz said,
There is something curious about this.........except on the device, the ad says nothing about Xbox 360.......

Microsoft has finally seen that this is much more than for the Xbox 360. It is part of the future.

Cant wait for Kinect 2.0

I agree. I cannot wait to see where they take this. It's an amazing technology that I think they'll be able to leverage to advance a number of other industries they're in.

htcz said,
There is something curious about this.........except on the device, the ad says nothing about Xbox 360.......

Microsoft has finally seen that this is much more than for the Xbox 360. It is part of the future.

Cant wait for Kinect 2.0

Microsoft and Bill Gates had already made it clear that the kinect is much more than a gaming accessory. Its not that they finally saw it, they've seen it a very long time now, this is why they've done many research and development in this area and in true 3D space.

htcz said,
There is something curious about this.........except on the device, the ad says nothing about Xbox 360.......

Microsoft has finally seen that this is much more than for the Xbox 360. It is part of the future.

Cant wait for Kinect 2.0


Curious? Lol, other uses beyond the Xbox 360 was the whole point of the video.

Enron said,
They need to fire all their other ad people and go with whoever made this from now on.

Absolutely. This is worlds better than what they're actually using for some of their products...

Enron said,
They need to fire all their other ad people and go with whoever made this from now on.

+1 - it's always staggered me how a company as rich as Microsoft always manages to come out with such corny advertising. At best it's ineffective, but at worst activiely contributes to a negative opinion of the products - I mean what the heck were they thinking with their "PC store in a house" campaign?

sopharine said,

Microsoft fanboys in denial!

i'm a Microsoft fanboy, but if that commercial had the word "magical" in it, I could almost be fooled haha.

EDIT: actually, it did use the word magic, nvm

If they spent as much time making ads like this as they have on R&D that have ended up in patent disputes, the average consumer would have a much brighter view of who MS is and what they actually do, and how the innovations that THEY have brought to light, not necessarily created and taken all the credit for, have changed the world.

jimmyfal said,
If they spent as much time making ads like this as they have on R&D that have ended up in patent disputes, the average consumer would have a much brighter view of who MS is and what they actually do, and how the innovations that THEY have brought to light, not necessarily created and taken all the credit for, have changed the world.

You forget all the 'R&D' Microsoft spent on mobility before Google even thought of entering the mobile space-- Hence why Microsoft has signed patent agreements with companies that supply 50% of all Android devices.