Kinect 2.0 Will Start Watching Your Blood Next Year

By Nathan Grayson on May 25th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

It can also levitate at will.

So Microsoft suggested it in an exceedingly casual, nonspecific manner, so shall it be. Xbox One’s infinitely more sensitive (it cries during movies and everything) Kinect is headed to PC as well, and it’ll come with a new SDK in tow. One caveat, though: Microsoft really isn’t expecting you to use it for gaming. Case in point: “Just as the new Kinect sensor will bring opportunities for revolutionizing gaming and entertainment, the new Kinect for Windows sensor will revolutionize computing experiences.” This one, then, will be targeted toward businesses and touch-free apps. Honestly, though, that’s not a huge change from Kinect’s first go-’round in our icy cool land of cybertronic future monoliths. What I’m worried about is the “next-gen” edition’s ability to be keenly aware of, well, everything. If the console version’s a useless heap of Orwellian scrap when not plugged into an Xbox, what’s to stop the PC one from pitching a fit unless it’s hooked up to a Windows 8 machine?

I’ve mailed Microsoft about the possibility, but they’ve yet to reply. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that – despite all the associated baggage, both confirmed and speculated – Kinect One/2.0/a-skiddly-diddly-doo offers some pretty nice goodies for all the trouble. Thanks to the power of photons and HD hypercolor sightomancy, it’s able to “recognize precise motions and details, such as slight wrist rotation, body position, and even the wrinkles in your clothes.” It’s also been reconfigured to function in spaces smaller than the average ballroom or indoor jousting arena, which is basically a godsend.

Improved skeletal tracking’s another biggie, and that allows the new Kinect to do things like differentiate between six people at once. Magic Microsoft ball, what should we use this feature for? Multi-person retail “experiences,” you say? Well, it’s not like cameras aren’t in every public space already anyway. The next generation of advergaming is right around the corner! Lastly, active infrared allows Kinect to see in just about any sort of lighting (or lack thereof), making it infinitely less finicky.

The new Kinect is coming to PC sometime next year. Hopefully hackers will see these new features as an expanded canvas for their madness and go wild. But if not? Well, at least you’ll be able to give the best Power Point presentation ever.

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51 Comments »

  1. Grey Poupon says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s coming to PC only to boost the poor W8 sales.

    • tyren says:

      Which is funny considering the poor Kinect sales.

      • jweytfdyebe says:

        This won’t actually be just a motion sensor peripheral or anything so simple. This’ll be some Windows 8 only add on that turns your PC into an Xbox by stealth! It’s a red eyed tumorous growth not unlike the one in this, rather quaint these days, Graham Linehan short.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJc6dcr0tNQ

  2. fhorrigan says:

    Of course it won’t be for gaming. They won’t allow any of their Xbone exclusives on PC anyway.

  3. GameCat says:

    This is rather good news. Kinect is one of the cheapest tools that can be used to motion capture dogs people. Official support can spawn some interesting indie projects.

  4. Bluestormzion says:

    None of this is designed for, or marketed at, me. So I take the high road, and go see what today’s Steam deals are.

  5. nasenbluten says:

    The only interesting thing I saw people doing with one of these was realtime 3D scanning of objects and surfaces, other than that it has become physical DRM.

    It’s going to be interesting when people start bypassing the recognition system with masks or figures.

    • Spacewalk says:

      I imagine a Speed style setup with people recording video loops of themselves and then feeding that directly into the camera somehow.

    • Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

      At least then I could justify the little plastic toys standing around on my desk. Or not actually, as I have no intention of buying an Xbone.

    • Valvarexart says:

      Indeed. I am working on my IR-ledhat which I shall henceforth wear everywhere I go. The next step, of course, is a aluminium foil suit with radiation shielding and a suitably massive amount of infrared LED’s.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      I’m really eager to watch what they are going to do to avoid people just directing the camera to a wall. Will the Xbox even work if the o___x doesn’t find any person in front of it? I’m expecting all kind of silly situations to make the headlines in a few months.

      • The Random One says:

        “NO USER DETECTED. THE XBOX ONE™ IS NOT CONFIGURED TO BE OPERATED BY GHOSTS. PLEASE STEP AWAY FROM THE MATERIAL PLANE. THE VATICAN HAS BEEN NOTIFIED.”

      • Drakedude says:

        Like Microsoft being burnt at the stake and Google Glasses being heaped on the bonfire?

    • Premium User Badge Nogo says:

      “As you can see I’ve unveiled my IR camo suit and face scrambler to fool the Kinect”

      *Points kinect at wall

      “Oh”

      • Premium User Badge Nogo says:

        “Movie continued. Would you like to buy a similar movie?… I see you smiled. Purchase confirmed!”

  6. staberas says:

    Occulus rift plus kinect would be nice combo

    • Reapy says:

      30 fps is the hold back for using it with that or as a trackir replacement. Might work nice but response at 30fps isn’t as good as 60+. Said from experience using facetracknoir with a 30 fps webcam and a 60fps eyetoy.

  7. Vorphalack says:

    Yeah, what the hell is with this thing levitating in every picture? Considering the fairly deliberate anthropomorphic positioning of the ”eyes”, the whole device is just a few spikes and red LEDs away from being a 21st century servo skull. A fairly derpy, awkwardly rectangular servo skull.

  8. SIDD says:

    One can hope that this can be used as a substitute for TrackIR; I wouldn’t mind having this hooked up in ARMA3 for head tracking

  9. Glottis1 says:

    Just realized how much kinect for pc actually costs. Are you kidding, over 200€ I would buy kinect right now, if it would cost 50€.

  10. rockman29 says:

    Kinect will do a complete blood count on me? Why I never…

  11. kregg says:

    o____x

  12. TuringMachine says:

    Hackers rejoice!

  13. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    The thought of a company merely suggesting making a device which.. well.. monitors people who have purchased it creeps me out. I hope it tanks. Hard.

  14. pyjamarama says:

    The new Kinect measures your hear rate and tries to measure emotion trough you face expression. You know this is the kind of bio metrics that Gabe Newell has been talking about for some time now, so no need for MS Kinect, Valve kinect is just around the corner.

  15. Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Okay. What business purpose could this possibly have?

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Think of all the wonderful team-building exercises!

      • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        ‘Smith!’ screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. ’6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.’

        • Muzman says:

          What Mr Blair could never have foreseen is people paying for their telescreens to address them personally.
          The party wasted all that effort on Room 101 and propaganda and ministries etc. All they really needed was a good ad campaign and really long, incomprehensible EULA.

    • Vorphalack says:

      With a Kinect in every office, managers will marvel at the ability to pull up the blood pressure, perspiration and pulse rate of any employee in range. Employees found to be in a ”calm” state can be red flagged as under motivated and quickly scheduled for liquidation through the touch screen interface.

      • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        I suppose I’d better stop my habit of responding to management emails with the emphatic one-finger salute.

    • Kerbal_Rocketry says:

      Well they can use there “Advanced Photon detector, as used on space craft”(know to us as a Camera) to track what people are doing and sell that data to businesses and governments.

      It’s just a advanced CCTV camera which you pay for and don’t have access to the data from and have signed away the right for them to sell said data…

  16. realitysconcierge says:

    What I want is a proper personal assistant ala siri baked into windows. That would be nice. The one in it right now is awful.

  17. MichaelPalin says:

    Isn’t it funny that around 20 million people basically paid $150 each to participate on the beta (or maybe alpha) of this o___x thing?

    Also, what’s to stop the PC one from pitching a fit unless it’s hooked up to a Windows 8 machine? Please, make this happen. Not that Win8 needs any help to fail, though.

  18. VengefulGiblets says:

    This could be useful for fitness apps, and it would have me considering the purchase of a Kincect 2.0 for the PC. I can always disable the device through the Device Manager if I feel that it’s necessary. Or simply unplug it.

    Kinect 2.0 could probably easily measure your body’s size. It would be a very convenient way to get your inches (size of your belly, hips, torso, etc) as a method to track your progress. Combine this with a scale and you would have a much more accurate BMI and over all profile for your health. Toss in its potential heart beat sensor, if that actually works, and you have a real winner.

    Will they actually make use of any of this? That’s the question. These companies don’t seem to have much imagination, so I won’t hold my breath.

    They’ll probably use motion tracking to reproduce the touch interface in Windows 8 and I guess that would be “neat”, but I wouldn’t buy the device for a gimmick like that.

  19. Muzman says:

    This won’t actually be just a motion sensor peripheral or anything so simple. This’ll be some Windows 8 only add on that turns your PC into an Xbox by stealth! It’s a red eyed tumorous growth not unlike the one in this, rather quaint these days, Graham Linehan short.

  20. KarenYoung57 says:

    just before I saw the check four $6902, I didnt believe that my mother in law actually erning money part time on there computar.. there sisters neighbour had bean doing this for only about 1 year and recently repaid the depts on there appartment and got Subaru Impreza. this is where I went, Bow6.com

  21. hitnrun says:

    “what’s to stop the PC one from pitching a fit unless it’s hooked up to a Windows 8 machine?”

    Probably the fact that they want people to buy it.

    Which isn’t necessarily a controlling fact in Microsoft’s case. (See: everything)

  22. Slinkyboy says:

    Microsoft also said they want to promote living room entertainment over traditional desktop freedom.

  23. MaXimillion says:

    I wouldn’t mind if core games on the XBone that implement voice commands would have those available in the PC version as well, but that’s about the only Kinect-related feature I’d be interested in, and even that doesn’t actually require Kinect.

  24. waltC says:

    Frankly, I don’t want a HAL 9000 looking at me every day…;) It gives me the creeps. Seriously, what I’d like to see for cameras and microphones hooked up to computers or consoles are mechanical circuit switches (like light switches) that enable you to turn off these monitoring devices. Unlike an internal software switch, which is hackable, a mechanical switch is not–it would be impervious to hacking. I should think this would be a normal option on these devices, but as it might add $.25 (cents) to the cost of these devices, we probably won’t see it. Frankly, even if such switches added a $1 to the cost of these devices it would be well worth it, and I’m surprised to see companies like Microsoft eschewing this kind of manual switch. I mean, there are whole web sites that I’ve read about that teach people how to hack into people’s computers to turn on their cameras and mics surreptitiously! And even to do so without turning on the little red power lights, etc.! A mechanical switch defeats them before they even start–a no-brainer.

    So why has xb1 left them off? Perhaps because Microsoft wants to get in there sometimes for some reason? I would have said, “Ridiculous!” to that assertion a few days ago. xB1 has me rethinking everything about Microsoft.

    • Rufustan says:

      Yep its a little scary. With Microsoft already back-tracking on the XB1 with the ‘no, of course we wouldn’t do anything dodgy with our always on mikes and sensors; trust us’, it makes you think twice.

      To be honest, I’d be more worried at coming home and trying to power up and getting:

      I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

  25. m_a_t says:

    Once again, Microsoft has just killed one of their products. When will they understand that people really don’t want to feel Steve Ballmer’s breath on their necks?

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  27. Eater Of Cheese says:

    Microsoft are chumps. The Xbone is the first console in 20 years that I’m not buying (well, out of the consoles that I was interested in). It’s a fricking spy machine.