Introducing Kinect

Thursday, 4 November 2010
by hannahdonovan
filed under Announcements
Comments: 23

A few months ago I walked into a meeting with Microsoft and came face to face with a little ET-shaped camera. It tilted its head up to look at me and I did what anyone in my position would have done: I waved at it.

Not quite believing it my hand started moving across the screen behind Kinect, and things started moving. Within a few moments half of the office were crowding in behind me, wanting to have a go. Fast forward to today and now it’s your turn.

What’s Kinect, you might ask?

While everyone is comparing Kinect to Minority Report, we’d rather bring up Total Recall. Not just because it has the best Arnie line ever, or because it’s part of our Laserdisc collection, but because there’s a scene that fairly accurately depicts how Kinect works:

Kinect bounces an infrared beam around the room, captures this with a camera, separates your body from the background and converts this data into a skeleton. This is the basis for your avatar. (What’s even cooler is its skeletal recognition is smart enough to tell you apart from someone else, even if you try and fool it with a mask. Trust us – Jonty tried)

Using gestures, you can control what’s happening on-screen.

How the app works for Kinect is a light-weight version of the radio app that uses gestures to control the player. It lets you browse and play Radio with little waves of your hand. While more intensive actions such as scrolling through artist info are still best suited to a controller, it’s really cool to have a new way to interact with

But the voice commands are the best. Want to skip the track? Just say “Xbox, Next!” It’s probably the closest I’ll come to being on the Enterprise, or having Johnny 5 as a DJ.

If you’ve got a Kinect then start playing and let us know what you think!