Microsoft to add finger and hand rotation tracking to Kinect

According to an online article, plans are being made to improve the accuracy of the Xbox 360 motion controller device, Kinect. The hope is that Microsoft will release a dashboard update in the future that will allow Kinect to detect both finger movement and hand rotation, thanks to a higher resolution depth sensor, something that the device is missing right now.

The article on Eurogamer states that Microsoft’s Kinect developers are working on creating an improved compression and switching technology that will let a larger amount of data pass through Kinect directly to the Xbox 360 console.

The reason for this is that the USB interface currently uses just 16MB/s of throughput when Kinect is attached to the console, this is despite being capable of around 35MB/s. Eurogamer state that the reason for this is due to the Xbox 360 allowing multiple USB devices to be connected at one time, slowing down other peripherals.

At the moment the depth sensor that Kinect uses is fixed at 30 frames a second in a low 320x240 resolution, but Eurogamer say that because the sensor can be updated via new firmware releases, there is a good chance that in the future a 640x480 resolution will be made available that will detect fingers and hand rotation.

If Microsoft does release an update, it could open up Kinect for even better and more in-depth motion controlled gaming. It would also be of great use to some of the Kinect hackers out there, especially those who have already been working on finger tracking.

Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 is available in stores now. You can read many comments about the device on our forums.

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Wish it could pick me up when I'm sitting down, I'd love to be on my couch and flick my wrist to scroll across the dashboard etc.

Benjy91 said,
Wish it could pick me up when I'm sitting down, I'd love to be on my couch and flick my wrist to scroll across the dashboard etc.

didnt one of the original videos to demo it show off a couple on the couch in a darkened room sitting down watching a film then pausing it and seeking parts of the video using kinect?!

rusonjitsu said,

didnt one of the original videos to demo it show off a couple on the couch in a darkened room sitting down watching a film then pausing it and seeking parts of the video using kinect?!

yeah, the zune marketplace does this. i sit on the couch all the time and watch zune videos or listen to zunepass content using the kinect & navigation gestures

blahism said,

yeah, the zune marketplace does this. i sit on the couch all the time and watch zune videos or listen to zunepass content using the kinect & navigation gestures

Yep, I do it as well...It works just fine.

Hopefully the new update will also allow the camera in Kinect to be a camera on the system so you dont need the extra XBOX Live Vision camera for certain games and situations.

AmazingRando said,
Hopefully the new update will also allow the camera in Kinect to be a camera on the system so you dont need the extra XBOX Live Vision camera for certain games and situations.

I didn't realize that was the case. That would certainly be a nice feature. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't get that in there at some point.

AmazingRando said,
Hopefully the new update will also allow the camera in Kinect to be a camera on the system so you dont need the extra XBOX Live Vision camera for certain games and situations.

never understood that, can use kinect video, but cant use the kinect to take a photo of u to use as an avatar!?

GrandTheftAuto said,
Yeah... good... because kinect says i got 6 fingers

Oh, my! What happened to the other four?

I think something like iOS will happen. First the device was jailbreaked and great apps were made and made headlines. It was later that an appstore was made to acknowledge there talents and creativity. Something simalar is happening to Kinect too. If KinectStore is made it will become an iconic gadget like iPod.
It will also be good for WP7(xBox Live) and Zune(xBox integration).

FMH said,
I think something like iOS will happen. First the device was jailbreaked and great apps were made and made headlines. It was later that an appstore was made to acknowledge there talents and creativity. Something simalar is happening to Kinect too. If KinectStore is made it will become an iconic gadget like iPod.
It will also be good for WP7(xBox Live) and Zune(xBox integration).

This is what Microsoft has planned. Their non-studio game development is XNA, which is used on WP7, Windows, and the XBox 360. Kinect support will be added to the XNA tools in the first half on 2011.

Microsoft has the development technologies and solid platforms, now comes the integration of the online stores and cross platform game support, which has been held up with getting XNA and gaming solid on WP7.

I'm not sure what iOS has to do with any of this though.

I'm sure we beyond enhancing the resolution ms has tons if data from game feedback to improve current functionality regardless. We love our kinect

They focus on the best experience possible. Sure Kinect can do it, and it does it in Microsoft's labs. But just because some outspoken people get something working and tell the public all about it...does that really mean Microsoft has to hurry up and change their priorities just to show it was on the way and they could do it?

Unlike those idiotic people who think they are really helping out by doing all of this **** that Microsoft hasn't done, the people actually employed to do this for Kinect have to abide by their contracts and have to get things done on time, they have to design Kinect so Xbox does most of the work and so they can work after release on features that were not stable enough to make it to the consumer.

It's really irritating when someone like you reaches out with such motivation to find an article pointing out some geeks put together something much faster before Microsoft... Like wow, a great motive... At least we have something like Kinect today. I don't see Apple doing this right now. So stop complaining, unlike you, Microsoft has priorities, a schedule, roadmap of features coming in the future, and overall the most important---> The perfect consumer experience possible. Which isn't possible by shoving unstable features in the public's eye about how ZOMG ITS POSSIBLE WE DID IT FIRST!!!

Does that make sense? It has and is crystal clear, you're just too biased with a motive to hate Microsoft it would seem....

Microsoft playing catch up?

You are obviously biased.

Moustacha said,
They've already managed to get hand detection working with the kinect on computers. Microsoft playing catch up?
http://www.csail.mit.edu/node/1362

Um. it's possible on the PC since most PCs nowadays are much more powerful than the original Xbox 360 which appeared in 2005. Read the article properly it says ; although this is possible it'll slow down other peripharals.

Moustacha said,
They've already managed to get hand detection working with the kinect on computers. Microsoft playing catch up?
http://www.csail.mit.edu/node/1362

It already tracks your hands, that's how you navigate menus using it. What the article is saying is the rotation of your hands, to recognize that.

Moustacha said,
They've already managed to get hand detection working with the kinect on computers. Microsoft playing catch up?
http://www.csail.mit.edu/node/1362

Are none of you reading the article or understanding the information?

The Kinect in hardware already handles 2x the resolution than is used on the current XBox games.

They state the reason very clearly... The USB interface on the XBox is leaving the bandwidth opened for multi-USB device connections along with the Kinect, thus artificially reducing the bandwidth of the USB connection by 1/2 for the Kinect.

So when using the Kinect with a PC where they can tap the full USB bandwidth, they can do the full resolution, which makes it possible to see fingers, instead of just hands.

This is something that has already been known, and if you look at the packaging of the Kinect, something Microsoft has already reconsidered for the future.

1) New Consoles have a dedicated USB (along with extra power) for the Kinect. Thus able to use full USB Bandwidth.

2) The Kinect is shipping with an extension cable for the rear USB that is often used for the Wireless Network adapter on older XBox models. This means that instead of using one of the front USB ports and sharing bandwidth, they are already having users connect the Kinect to the rear USB port so that when they do move to using the full USB bandwidth, users won't be confused or have to reconfigure how they hook up their Kinect.

And if anyone here thinks that MIT or some other group has 'done this first, or finger recognition first', they are insane. Microsoft has been doing finger recognition (and a lot more than anyone outside of MS R&D has seen) since the Kinect was an expensive prototype.

PS If you look back at the Kinect introduction announcement, they were demoing using the Kinect with hand gestures - which is something that requires the extra recognition quality - and something that has been coming all along.

Moustacha said,
They've already managed to get hand detection working with the kinect on computers. Microsoft playing catch up?
http://www.csail.mit.edu/node/1362

Catch up to what? All they've done is replace full body detection with hand detection, they haven't added anything just remapped Kinect to a different area.


"thanks to a higher resolution depth sensor, something that the device is missing right now."

Let me get this straight: does this mean that the HR sensor is not in Kinect or does this mean that that it's there so a firmware update for the dashboard and/or Kinect can enable this?

If that sensor is not in Kinect, i'll be selling mines and waiting on the new model.

InfinitiProject said,
"thanks to a higher resolution depth sensor, something that the device is missing right now."

Let me get this straight: does this mean that the HR sensor is not in Kinect or does this mean that that it's there so a firmware update for the dashboard and/or Kinect can enable this?

If that sensor is not in Kinect, i'll be selling mines and waiting on the new model.


I think it's more of a case where the article was written confusingly, the sensor itself is capable, it's the throughput and resolution that are restricting it right now. So a software update would be able to fix the problem.

Stokkolm said,

I think it's more of a case where the article was written confusingly, the sensor itself is capable, it's the throughput and resolution that are restricting it right now. So a software update would be able to fix the problem.

Yes, it was worded poorly. Microsoft had stated that they had plans to expand the features of the Kinect hardware through Firmware and Software updates, so I expect them to focus on that at this point. Probably until the next XBox comes out, which won't be anytime soon.

Ruran said,
This is great! Can't wait to see what people could come up with if they could track things like fingers.

With things like the Sexbox App for Kinect... Gee, I wonder.

But seriously, this would be great for war games, as you could then do proper army hand-based signals, and the inevitable homebrew Rock-Paper-Scissors game

Ruran said,
This is great! Can't wait to see what people could come up with if they could track things like fingers.

My guess would be more party game collections.