Rumor: Kinect coming to Windows Phone 8

Microsoft has shown us a few examples of their Kinect sensor working together with Windows Phone in the past, but if the latest rumors are to be believed this integration could go one step further. VR-Zone, who has sources "which proved reliable in the past", is reporting that Microsoft is working to integrate the Kinect technology directly into the Windows Phone 8 platform and devices.

The site claims Microsoft is dedicating a lot of resources to help bring the Kinect Natural User Interface (NUI) to Windows Phone 8 as a major feature, either with the launch or in an update shortly afterwards. Apparently there are still "caveats to be solved" before the technology is fully ready to be presented in Windows Phone "Apollo", but this rumor would indicate it is actually coming.

Microsoft is also encouraged by the success of Apple's Siri technology as they try and incorporate Kinect into Windows Phone 8. VR-Zone's sources say the "Kinect NUI is being closely tied to Microsoft TellMe, since Kinect allegedly captured more voice patterns than Apple Siri", indicating we could see advanced voice recognition with the inclusion of Kinect.

Of course actually implementing the Kinect technology on a smartphone is hard, as the Kinect hardware uses two cameras to sense motion and depth along with an IR camera so the product works in the dark. Space to put all these components on a smartphone is certainly going to be a challenge for the research team, but the end result could be amazing and a huge selling point for the mobile platform.

Again, at this stage these reports are just a rumor, but it certainly makes the next version of Windows Phone sound a lot more exciting.

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16 Comments

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If anyone remembers a Microsoft Research project from 2-3 years ago just using a laptop VGA camera I have a feeling people will be impressed

I'm trying to imagine ways in which the tracking features would be useful in the phone form factor. Body tracking does not seem likely, unless this is to be used as a sort of portable plug-in-to-a-TV game system. I would think facial tracking could be done with just a single camera, and that has limited applications. I'm very curious to see what the brains at Microsoft have in mind.

Skwerl said,
I'm trying to imagine ways in which the tracking features would be useful in the phone form factor. Body tracking does not seem likely, unless this is to be used as a sort of portable plug-in-to-a-TV game system. I would think facial tracking could be done with just a single camera, and that has limited applications. I'm very curious to see what the brains at Microsoft have in mind.

I'm thinking a kickstand for whatever phone it ends up on, place it on your desk or surface and then gesture away.

Even just the voice recognition would be impressive, Kinect always understands my English, exceptionally well-spoken voice. I adore being able to be anywhere in my room and just tell it to do things. I wish it could control everything I own.

Melfster said,
I personally don't get it It seems more like gimmick to me.

Todays Innovations are yesterday's gimmicks or dream.

Amazing. They should have come with something to compete with apple's siri. but navigating the menus and options without even touching is awesome.

S3P€hR said,
Amazing. They should have come with something to compete with apple's siri. but navigating the menus and options without even touching is awesome.
The only thing Microsoft's voice recognition can't do is "Siri, schedule an appointment for Monday with my Doctor." which, quite frankly, I would want to do myself, so I know it goes in correctly.

S3P€hR said,
Amazing. They should have come with something to compete with apple's siri. but navigating the menus and options without even touching is awesome.

WP had voice recognition from the get go and Applie just copied and improved it, I mean Apple bought Siri developer and then claimed it's theirs.

S3P€hR said,
Amazing. They should have come with something to compete with apple's siri. but navigating the menus and options without even touching is awesome.

You'd still have to hold it with one hand though, so pointless?

greenwizard88 said,
The only thing Microsoft's voice recognition can't do is "Siri, schedule an appointment for Monday with my Doctor." which, quite frankly, I would want to do myself, so I know it goes in correctly.

I hate to admit it but Siri gets it spot on virtually all of the time

S3P€hR said,
Amazing. They should have come with something to compete with apple's siri. but navigating the menus and options without even touching is awesome.

Don't forget, Kinect has an audio and visual component. Having the ability to detect motion and having Siri-like functionality are not mutually exclusive.

DomZ said,
You'd still have to hold it with one hand though, so pointless?

Some of the usage scenarios I saw show the phone laying on a table and gestures overtop the Kinect sensor would control other devices in the home, so no.