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Microsoft had abandoned the idea of Kinect for video games, but still explored the potential of Kinect beyond that. Microsoft's Director of Communications Greg Sullivan stated in that "I think one of the things that is beginning to be understood is that Kinect was never really just the gaming peripheral It was always more.
Microsoft announced that it was working on a new version of a hardware Kinect model for non-game applications that would integrate with their Azure cloud computing services in May The use of cloud computing to offload some of the computational work from Kinect, as well as more powerful features enable by Azure such as artificial intelligence would improve the accuracy of the depth-sensing and reduce the power demand and would lead to more compact units, Microsoft had envisioned. The depth and motion sensing technology at the core of the Kinect is enabled through its depth-sensing.
The original Kinect for Xbox used structured light for this: the unit used a near- infrared pattern projected across the space in front of the Kinect, while an infrared sensor captured the reflected light pattern. The light pattern is deformed by the relative depth of the objects in front it, and mathematics can be used to estimate that depth based on several factors related to the hardware layout of the Kinect.
While other structure light depth-sensing technologies used multiple light patterns, Kinect used as few as one as to achieve a high rate of 30 frames per second of depth sensing. Kinect for Xbox One switched over to using time of flight measurements. The infrared projector on the Kinect sends out modulated infrared light which is then captured by the sensor. Infrared light reflecting off closer objects will have a shorter time of flight than those more distant, so the infrared sensor captures how much the modulation pattern had been deformed from the time of flight, pixel-by-pixel.
Time of flight measurements of depth can be more accurate and calculated in a shorter amount of time, allowing for more frames-per-second to be detected. Once Kinect has a pixel-by-pixel depth image, Kinect uses a type of edge detection here to delineate closer objects from the background of the shot, incorporating input from the regular visible light camera. The unit then attempts to track any moving objects from this, with the assumption that only people will be moving around in the image, and isolates the human shapes from the image.
The unit's software, aided by artificial intelligence, performs segmentation of the shapes to try to identify specific body parts, like the head, arms, and hands, and track those segments individually. Those segments are used to construct a point skeleton of the human body, which then can be used by game or other software to determine what actions the person has performed.
Kinect for Xbox was a combination of Microsoft built software and hardware. The hardware included a range chipset technology by Israeli developer PrimeSense , which developed a system consisting of an infrared projector and camera and a special microchip that generates a grid from which the location of a nearby object in 3 dimensions can be ascertained.
The Kinect sensor  is a horizontal bar connected to a small base with a motorized pivot and is designed to be positioned lengthwise above or below the video display. The device features an " RGB camera, depth sensor and microphone array running proprietary software",  which provide full-body 3D motion capture , facial recognition and voice recognition capabilities. Mainland Europe received the feature later in spring The Kinect sensor's microphone array enables Xbox to conduct acoustic source localization and ambient noise suppression , allowing for things such as headset-free party chat over Xbox Live.
The depth sensor consists of an infrared laser projector combined with a monochrome CMOS sensor , which captures video data in 3D under any ambient light conditions. Described by Microsoft personnel as the primary innovation of Kinect,    the software technology enables advanced gesture recognition , facial recognition and voice recognition. The Kinect can also stream the view from its IR camera directly i. The Kinect sensor has a practical ranging limit of 1.
Because the Kinect sensor's motorized tilt mechanism requires more power than the Xbox 's USB ports can supply,  the device makes use of a proprietary connector combining USB communication with additional power. Redesigned Xbox S models include a special AUX port for accommodating the connector,  while older models require a special power supply cable included with the sensor  that splits the connection into separate USB and power connections; power is supplied from the mains by way of an AC adapter.
Kinect for Windows is a modified version of the Xbox unit which was first released on February 1, , alongside the SDK for commercial use.
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In March , Craig Eisler, the general manager of Kinect for Windows, said that almost companies are working with Microsoft on custom Kinect applications for Microsoft Windows. Kinect for Windows 1. It adds new features, support for many new languages and debut in 19 more countries. Kinect for Windows SDK for the first-generation sensor was updated a few more times, with version 1.
An upgraded iteration of Kinect was released on November 22, for Xbox One. It uses a wide-angle time-of-flight camera , and processes 2 gigabits of data per second to read its environment. The new Kinect has greater accuracy with three times the fidelity over its predecessor and can track without visible light by using an active IR sensor. It can also detect a player's heart rate , facial expression, the position and orientation of 25 individual joints including thumbs , the weight put on each limb, speed of player movements, and track gestures performed with a standard controller.
The color camera captures p video that can be displayed in the same resolution as the viewing screen, allowing for a broad range of scenarios. In addition to improving video communications and video analytics applications, this provides a stable input on which to build interactive applications. Kinect's microphone is used to provide voice commands for actions such as navigation, starting games, and waking the console from sleep mode.
All Xbox One consoles were initially shipped with Kinect included. Considered a market failure compared to the Kinect for Xbox , the Kinect for Xbox One product was discontinued by October 25, Production of the adapter cord also ended by January It was also repackaged as "Kinect for Windows v2". It is nearly identical besides the removal of Xbox branding, and included a USB 3. It released alongside version 2. In April having difficulty in keeping up manufacturing demand for the Kinect for Xbox One this edition was discontinued.
On May 7, , Microsoft announced a new iteration of Kinect technology designed primarily for enterprise software and artificial intelligence usage. It is designed around the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, and is meant to "leverage the richness of Azure AI to dramatically improve insights and operations". A development kit was announced in February Requiring at least MB of available storage space,  Kinect system software allows users to operate Xbox Dashboard console user interface through voice commands and hand gestures.
Techniques such as voice recognition and facial recognition are employed to automatically identify users.
Among the applications for Kinect is Video Kinect, which enables voice chat or video chat with other Xbox users or users of Windows Live Messenger. The application can use Kinect's tracking functionality and Kinect sensor's motorized pivot to keep users in frame even as they move around.
The Xbox One originally shipped in bundles with the Kinect; the original Xbox One user interface software had similar support for Kinect features as the Xbox software, such as voice commands, user identification via skeletal or vocal recognition, and gesture-driven commands, though these features could be fully disabled due to privacy concerns.
In May , when Microsoft announced it would be releasing Xbox One systems without a Kinect, the company also announced plans to alter the Xbox One system software to remove Kinect features. Xbox games that require Kinect are packaged in special purple cases as opposed to the green cases used by all other Xbox games , and contain a prominent "Requires Kinect Sensor" logo on their front cover. Games that include features utilizing Kinect, but do not require it for standard gameplay, contain a "Better with Kinect Sensor" branding on their front covers. Kinect launched on November 4, with 17 titles.
Along with retail games, there are also select Xbox Live Arcade titles which require the peripheral.
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At E3 , Microsoft announced Kinect Fun Labs : a collection of various gadgets and minigames that are accessible from Xbox Dashboard. Numerous developers are researching possible applications of Kinect that go beyond the system's intended purpose of playing games, further enabled by the release of the Kinect SDK by Microsoft.
Alexandre Alahi from EPFL presented a video surveillance system that combines multiple Kinect devices to track groups of people even in complete darkness. Kinect also shows compelling potential for use in medicine. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have used Kinect to measure a range of disorder symptoms in children, creating new ways of objective evaluation to detect such conditions as autism, attention-deficit disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
NASA 's Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL signed up for the Kinect for Windows Developer program in November to use the new Kinect to manipulate a robotic arm in combination with an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, creating "the most immersive interface" the unit had built to date. Upon its release, the Kinect garnered generally positive opinions from reviewers and critics. IGN gave the device 7. CNET 's review pointed out how Kinect keeps players active with its full-body motion sensing but criticized the learning curve, the additional power supply needed for older Xbox consoles and the space requirements.
The review praised the system's powerful technology and the potential of its yoga and dance games. The mainstream press also reviewed Kinect. USA Today compared it to the futuristic control scheme seen in Minority Report , stating that "playing games feels great" and giving the device 3. Although featuring improved performance over the original Kinect, its successor has been subject to mixed responses. In its Xbox One review, Engadget praised Xbox One's Kinect functionality, such as face recognition login and improved motion tracking, but that whilst "magical", "every false positive or unrecognized [voice] command had us reaching for the controller.
However, its accuracy was found to be affected by background noise, and Peckham further noted that launching games using voice recognition required that the full title of the game be given rather than an abbreviated name that the console "ought to semantically understand", such as Forza Motorsport 5 rather than "Forza 5". Prior to Xbox One's launch, privacy concerns were raised over the new Kinect; critics showed concerns the device could be used for surveillance , stemming from the originally announced requirements that Xbox One's Kinect be plugged in at all times, plus the initial always-on DRM system that required the console to be connected to the internet to ensure continued functionality.
Concerns were also raised that the device could also record conversations, as its microphone remains active at all times. In response to the criticism, a Microsoft spokesperson stated that users are "in control of when Kinect sensing is On, Off or Paused", will be provided with key privacy information and settings during the console's initial setup, and that user-generated content such as photos and videos "will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission. While announcing Kinect's discontinuation in an interview with Fast Co. Design on October 25, , Microsoft stated that 35 million units had been sold since its release.
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Motion sensing input device for the Xbox and Xbox One. For other skeletal tracking systems, see Gesture recognition and Motion capture. WW : April 2, . WW : April 20, . WW : October 25, .
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An example infrared image taken by the Kinect infrared left , and the same image revisualized into a depth map using color gradients from white near to blue far. Main article: Azure Kinect. August 17, Retrieved August 17, It will hit the shelves on 10 November, five days after the US. Caracol TV. November 14, Archived from the original on July 27, Retrieved November 14, September 1, Archived from the original on September 3, Retrieved September 3, The Economic Times.
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Brier Dudley's Blog. The Seattle Times.