Microsoft working on Kinect-based project to control Windows with gestures

While Microsoft has made Kinect available for Windows developers for a while now, the company has never really created a way to use the motion sensor so it can actually control a Windows PC with hand gestures. That situation has now changed thanks to a new Microsoft Research project in Cambridge.

According to ZDNet, who got to see a demo of the project earlier this week, the research team have created ways for the Kinect sensor to help user perform a number of actions on both Windows 7 and 8 with hand movements. The story claims it took the researchers 18 months to develop the software for these features.

The software can now allow a person to use a number of different hand gestures to perform actions on Windows. For example, a user can maximize a window on the screen by clenching a fist in the air to "grab" the window and then moving the hand towards the top of the keyboard. Another example uses the pinching of the thumb and forefinger to bring up the Windows 8 search menu.

The prototype shown this week had the Kinect sensor placed right above a keyboard. However, the article also adds that the Microsoft Research team have another system where the Kinect sensor is at a 45 degree angle above the keyboard. This might allow such a sensor to be put on top of or inside a monitor.

The effort sounds similar to the Leap Motion device, which launched earlier this summer and allows users to interact with Windows 8 via motion gestures. Unfortunately, there's no word on when, or even if, Microsoft's similar research efforts will result in an actual Kinect-based Windows PC.

Source: ZDNet | Image via ZDNet

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19 Comments

dvb2000 said,
seems the kids in the xbox division got bored and are trying to make windows a game!

As far as I see the Windows development path chosen by MS, Windows seem the be more and more aimed at noobs. By leveling the ground with phones/tablets and merging towards a single app store, Windows seems geared towards more simple, less advanced UIs and applications. It is pretty likely that power users will likely migrate (if they already didn't) at some point to other greener, more technical/brain challenging platforms.

If Linux folks get it right at some point (drivers, ONE standardized package format, double-click a-la-Windows app setups), MS will be in big trouble.

Mortis said,

As far as I see the Windows development path chosen by MS, Windows seem the be more and more aimed at noobs. By leveling the ground with phones/tablets and merging towards a single app store, Windows seems geared towards more simple, less advanced UIs and applications. It is pretty likely that power users will likely migrate (if they already didn't) at some point to other greener, more technical/brain challenging platforms.

If Linux folks get it right at some point (drivers, ONE standardized package format, double-click a-la-Windows app setups), MS will be in big trouble.

That is because there are more regular users than power users. Advance features as always will be included in Windows, and those are for power users and admins. That is the good thing about Windows, it is simple for regular user, but powerful enough advance users.

Mortis said,

As far as I see the Windows development path chosen by MS, Windows seem the be more and more aimed at noobs. By leveling the ground with phones/tablets and merging towards a single app store, Windows seems geared towards more simple, less advanced UIs and applications. It is pretty likely that power users will likely migrate (if they already didn't) at some point to other greener, more technical/brain challenging platforms.

Wow... Talk about deja vu... I remember the same comments when we moved from DOS to Windows.

Mortis said,

As far as I see the Windows development path chosen by MS, Windows seem the be more and more aimed at noobs. By leveling the ground with phones/tablets and merging towards a single app store, Windows seems geared towards more simple, less advanced UIs and applications. It is pretty likely that power users will likely migrate (if they already didn't) at some point to other greener, more technical/brain challenging platforms.

If Linux folks get it right at some point (drivers, ONE standardized package format, double-click a-la-Windows app setups), MS will be in big trouble.

What? If Microsoft can make an OS of the future, then Linux is in trouble. No one would want to use such an archaic setup. Same reason no one uses Open Office, or Libre Office. It's not 1995 anymore, no matter how much Linux users want it to be. We don't live in command lines or drop downs anymore.

Mortis said,

You have no idea how much people use them.

Statistically insignificant and the only reason anyone uses them is because they are too cheap to buy MS Office so they settle for open source crapware instead.

NoClipMode said,
This would be great on Win 8 Modern UI and so many people have asked for this.

Seems developers can't find a use for it, so Microsoft are trying to find one themselves. Microsoft seem to be so out of touch (no pun intended) that they are a total joke.

dvb2000 said,

Seems developers can't find a use for it, so Microsoft are trying to find one themselves. Microsoft seem to be so out of touch (no pun intended) that they are a total joke.


What the hell are you even talking about? A lot of companies already use this tech in medical, surgical, and scientific fields. It's actually really remarkable if you've seen some of the case studies.
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/

Valve announces this: Why bash them for doing something different? You haven't tried it yet!

Microsoft announces this: It sucks! I hate metro UI! Learning curve!!

Unfortunately, people will always love to hate on Microsoft, and even more unfortunate the negative spreads to other people since people tend to mainly listen to their friends instead of actually educating themselves. I for one don't listen to anyone, and try and experience things myself before commenting, which is one of the many reasons why I love Microsoft and their future vision.

We already have Metro Kinect navigation on the Xbox. This could allow a full Windows 8 set top box be usable in desktop mode without a mouse. This is what has Valve worried because along with the console features of the OS and the integrated Microsoft Account login, Steam becomes redundant.

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