Stare Case: Kinect PC Officially Official

By Craig Pearson on November 7th, 2011 at 1:29 pm.

It can see all the bad things you've done

“Kinect. KIN-ECT! Write this down… no, don’t open the DVD drive. Close it. C-L-O-S-E it! Don’t make me come over there: you’ve seen what I do to a mouse during games of Team Fortress 2. Yeah, I thought that would scare you. I knew you things talked to each other. Right, so I’m speaking these words into my Kinect. It’s hooked up to my PC, thanks to Microsoft releasing it for the PC. Also, I’m from the future.”

That’s because the announcement that Microsoft is properly working on Kinect for PC is only four days old, and for the purposes of the gag it only works if the tech is already enabled. Microsoft are working with over 200 companies to enable cat-endangering hand-waving and Glaswegian annoying voice control into Windows. They’ve essentially commercialised their SDK pilot project from earlier this year, and while the offical announcement is dripped in business-o-speak, everyone knows that games will be taking advantage of it. I do, because I’m from the Future (you’re fired – Ed), and also because the hobbyist Kinect scene is doing some fun things. Like this mod for Dead Island.

He’s air-kicking zombies!

But voice controlling a PC has way more PC gaming potential than backing off six feet and spamming your legs. EA have already stated that you’ll be able to use Kinect on the Xbox 360 to select dialogue options and control squad members while playing, which clearly the PC can now support. Will they add it? Despite being from the year 2049, I don’t have a video of that on the PC because Mass Effect 3 never came out. Poor BioWare. Poor, poor exploded BioWare. Instead, here’s a video of a man voice controlling his PC with Kinect while being insulted by GLaDOS. It’s fun, and you can be amazed at the raw potential eked out the SDK already.

My Virtual Personal Assitant Part 3 from Corey Thomas on Vimeo.

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51 Comments »

  1. Josh04 says:

    If I may be the first to mention: staring eyes?

  2. CyberBrent says:

    I was kind of expecting to see a staring eyes tag! Such was the extent of me being startled.

    EDIT ALERT: Josh04 beat me to it fair and square.

  3. Hoaxfish says:

    Does this mean I’m not allowed near my PC unless fully clothed, in case it confuses Kinect?

    Also… has Kinect managed to acquire any “proper” games? I.e. one’s that most people consider fun, but don’t required you to maintain unintuitive poses?

    I guess Dance Central is one? But, I don’t really like rythmn/dance games (I was terrible when I tried dance-dance revolution)

    Unfortunately, 4 feet behind my chair is a wall, 1 foot to my right is another wall, and half a foot to the left is my bed… So this is all idle nonsense, unless they can work out how to shorten the active distance… and let my use my hand on the table as a proxy for my full body.

    • Bhazor says:

      “Do I have to be fully clothed…”

      “I’m sorry you appear to be holding a canoe, please put it down before continuing”
      Looks down. Zips up flies
      “Thank you”

      True story.

    • JuJuCam says:

      Comparing DDR to Dance Central is like comparing Pong to Virtua Tennis. They’re technically in the same category of games, but the technology is so much more advanced as to require entirely different sets of skills.

      DDR doesn’t actually require one to be able to dance. Rhythm helps but ultimately you’re pressing buttons with your feet. If you clod around Dance Central without any sense of movement you will not do well at all. On the positive side if you have a certain degree of baseline coordination it will actually teach you the moves fairly well.

      In summary, Dance Central is a half decent dance teacher for anyone too embarrassed to take classes.

    • Ringwraith says:

      “Does this mean I’m not allowed near my PC unless fully clothed, in case it confuses Kinect?”
      Apparently it doesn’t confuse it, and it still works normally, as someone tested that.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      “Apparently it doesn’t confuse it, and it still works normally, as someone tested that.”

      So was that a case of _she_ didn’t have any problems with it, or _he_ was left telling himself “size doesn’t matter”?

  4. Metonymy says:

    Unlike the Xbox, the japanese don’t hate the PC, which means pervy loli games involving full body interaction.

    The best part, of course, is going to be the vaguely amoral indignation from journalists.

  5. Bhazor says:

    Kinect + major publishers ——> Absolute guff
    Kinect + PC indies ——–> Potentially not shit.

    All in all it depends on what cut/control Microsoft are after from this. I seriously doubt it’ll be open to everyone.

    • JuJuCam says:

      This was the big problem with Kinect on X360. The situation may have changed recently, but at launch any developer who wanted to use Microsoft’s (quite good) software for body frame recognition had to use Xbox avatars as well. Which set back quite a few developers who couldn’t adequately develop their own spacial body recognition algorithms.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      I await the first ‘point and click’ adventures that are just ‘Point’ adventures. Until then I refuse to see any reason for the thing

  6. FhnuZoag says:

    I look forward to standing at the opposite side of the room from my laptop.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Add it to the new line of Windows 8 tablets, and you can practise not touching a touch-screen, using your raw mind-powers to hold it aloft.

  7. Lambchops says:

    I feer I am too Scottish for this news to please me.

    Oh and obligatory posting of sketch from Rab and Ian’s show:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFRoYhTJQQ

  8. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    OOH! EEM! GEE!

    I can hardly believe my ears! I’m not exactly sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. But it’s something alright. Will surely drive some people to madness and others to glee.

    I mean, does Bioware really explode in the future?

  9. manveruppd says:

    Even more than voice control, which is usually flakey, wouldn’t gesture control be even more awesome? Dismissing a window by waving it away or maximising it by doing “THIS big!” gestures with your hands? :p

    • Bhazor says:

      Or… you could click.

      Seriously, its a gimmick you get bored of quickly.

    • fenriz says:

      how can it get boring? How can that happen? Seriously, did you not see Minority Report?

      And the chance of mimicking a gun reloading? Who hasn’t dreamed about it since he was a child?

      i’m all about depth of gameplay and interaction, i’m a huge troll, and still i wanna play with that thing. Besides, clicking a mouse is fine, but if, to click an icon, i can just twitch the finger with no mouse under, it’s even simpler isn’t it?

      C’mon

  10. Vexing Vision says:

    I actually can’t wait to see what the Indie-scene can do with this. My heart is longing for a Emperor-like-hand-motioning-RTS.

    *waves left hand* “You there, left-flank cavalry, be good chaps and charge.”

    Also, does anyone remember Firetop Mountain, the simultaneous-turn-based spellcasting simulator? That’d make my life.

  11. Sian says:

    Seriously, who has room to stand and move around in front of their desktop? Sure, a laptop can be set up anywhere, but those things have tiny screens.

    All the impracticalities aside: I’ve never seen the point of the Kinect. There are no good games that would require something like that. And whatever game you play, it ALWAYS looks embarrassing. I know this, because an electronics store I frequent has a Kinect set up and people actually try it out.

    • Dom_01 says:

      I would totally dig Kinect games on the PC that did not force you to stand up to play them. It could just be configured to visualize you from the chest up. You wouldn’t have to look like a fool by standing on the other side of your room.

      I can see what you mean though. After the novelty wears off, will it offer better interaction than what can be offered by a mouse? I guess I’ll just have to wait to see for myself.

  12. Drake Sigar says:

    I’ll inform the urban community.

  13. Ondrej says:

    My main grief with Kinect-enabled software is that it so laggy, which makes it impossible to be used for… for anything, really.

  14. Lars Westergren says:

    Dark Messiah of Might and Magic would be pretty sweet with a kick-orcs-off-cliff & gesture-to-cast-spells interface.

  15. UnravThreads says:

    Oh dear, that’s got to be the clumsiest gameplay I’ve ever seen. LOOK MA, I’M RANDOMLY KICKING NOTHING.

  16. Mike says:

    Why do we need a Kinect for this? Surely a microphone would suffice.

    • sneetch says:

      Exactly that. It’s the software not the hardware that does the interesting stuff as far as I’m concerned (i.e. the voice detection).

      I don’t think the hand waving/body tracking suits the typical PC gaming set-up – I’ve yet to see any 360 games I’d care about where it’s better than a controller – the Dead Island mod is more like a curiosity, a technical exercise, than it is a good way of playing the game (or any game like Dead Island).

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Agreed, it would have to be tuned to detect finer movements due to the reduced field of view from the close range, which would of course increase greatly the rate of false positives. Advances in voice recognition and control is more interesting, although still beating KB & M for most things would be quite an achievement.

  17. zergrush says:

    I’ll buy one of those if Dance Central ever gets ported.

    • Bhazor says:

      Dance games and work outs are pretty much the only thing Kinect does better than a mouse and keyboard/controller. Personally I’ll buy it if theres a port of the new version of Yourself!Fitness.

  18. Lipwig says:

    Obligatory “where is the staring eyes tag” post

    You’ve been getting awful sloppy on the tags tbh

  19. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Ms Wheelie has already threatened to have me sectioned after catching me shouting at cartoon soldiers on the screen during RO2 MP (she raised a palm to my face as I tried to explain Ventrilo).

    This could tip her over.

  20. yhalothar says:

    I’m sitting less than a meter from my monitor, and I already have a webcam with an array microphone (the PS3 Eye, lol) so I’m not really thrilled at this anouncement.

  21. trigonometryhappy says:

    Decent voice recognition Windows?

    Que all my friends shouting ‘find porn!’ at my computer as they walk past, ad infinitum.

    *edit* Luckily they’re mostly either foreign or Irish.

  22. Legionary says:

    Hey, it’s Craig Pearson!

  23. frymaster says:

    “That’s because the announcement that Microsoft is properly working on Kinect for PC is only four days old”

    I feel that stretches things slightly. The educational/non-profit SDK for the PC has been out since June and it was known in Februrary that a commercial licensing version was coming.

  24. tomemozok says:

    Yes this is it!!!! :D

  25. malkav11 says:

    Motion control tech, the Kinect among them, has very minimal purpose on console (at best, it serves as a sort of awkward faux mouse) and none whatsoever on PC. It’s an answer to an interface problem no one is having.

    Voice control has some possibilities, but you’d just need a microphone for that.

  26. DigitalSignalX says:

    PC gamers will be expected to actually move their limbs? HAH HAH HAH HAH. This idea will fade quickly.

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