Rumors of Microsoft's plans for the next Xbox console have also included rumors about "Kinect 2.0", the next major revision of the company's motion capture technology. Today, Microsoft Research has posted up a new video that shows an advance version of Kinect that can track hands more accurately than the current hardware.
The video, posted on YouTube, shows researcher Cem Keskin demoing the new technology on one of those massive Perceptive Pixel-made touchscreen PCs running Windows 8. First, he shows the current Kinect hardware and software, which can only read the hand as one point on a skeleton. The new version is shown later, where the Kinect camera can see an open hand in one state and a closed hand in yet another state.
Because the hardware can recognize two different states in a person's hand, the software can be used to simulate touch events. This is used by Keskin in the video to interact with Windows 8 apps such as drawing in Fresh Paint and manipulating the Bing Maps app.
While this demo was used with Windows 8 apps, it's not a stretch to speculate that this kind of method could show up for use in the next version of Microsoft's Xbox console, which could include Kinect out of the box rather than an add-on device.
Source: Microsoft Research on YouTube