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!


  1. Ernesto
    4 November, 19:18

    When will this be available worldwide (i.e. outside US, UK and Germany)?

    Ernesto – 4 November, 19:18
  2. Paula
    4 November, 19:38

    want in Brasil too!!!

    Paula – 4 November, 19:38
  3. Juan C. Ruiz
    4 November, 19:50

    Great! Hopefully you guys are looking into PS3, Google TV or Samsung Widgets.

    Juan C. Ruiz – 4 November, 19:50
  4. Tom Chiverton
    4 November, 20:13

    ‘Trek ? Please … /Star Cops/ portable computer was even called ‘Box’ !

    captcha: wisdom

    Tom Chiverton – 4 November, 20:13
  5. jrheard
    5 November, 02:13

    how’d you make a kinect app? where does one start if they’re interested in doing this? i was under the impression that there’s no app store – how do you distribute your app?

    jrheard – 5 November, 02:13
  6. daniel
    5 November, 03:07

    Jejeje, It look nice!

    daniel – 5 November, 03:07
  7. Tecfan
    5 November, 07:28

    Good work ;>

    Tecfan – 5 November, 07:28
  8. lydia
    5 November, 09:31

    Kinect is really cool. Now it is released, some day, I will buy it.

    lydia – 5 November, 09:31
  9. Max
    5 November, 09:51

    With this and Mix Radio, it would seem that is back on track. Now, a PS3 app (or even a custom web interface on the PS3) and a bit more polish for the iPhone app would be good.

    Max – 5 November, 09:51
  10. Moi
    5 November, 10:46

    I subscribed to less than two weeks after first hearing about it, two years ago. Losing full streaming was bad enough, but now that I’m not able to play mine or others’ loved tracks, tags, or playlists, there’s no reason for me to subscribe. My subscription expired today and I subscribed to MOG instead.

    Moi – 5 November, 10:46
  11. ilkmat
    5 November, 13:14

    good work!

    ilkmat – 5 November, 13:14
  12. subscriber
    6 November, 13:28

    I find it interesting that when I click on Hannah Donovan’s name her profile has 0 scrobbles. She either never listens to music or doesn’t use the product/service. Not that big a deal, but she is employed by…. subscriber – 6 November, 13:28
  13. Max
    6 November, 15:02

    That’s because her username is ‘Han’.

    Max – 6 November, 15:02
  14. subscriber
    7 November, 02:48

    Max, Thanks for the heads up, color me corrected.
    I’ll ammend my comment to read:
    “I find it interesting that when I click on Hannah Donovan’s name the profile it takes me to is not her’s.”

    Thanks! subscriber – 7 November, 02:48
  15. Ben Biddington
    7 November, 20:24

    I thought his best line (same film) was “see you at the party, Victor!”?

    Ben Biddington – 7 November, 20:24
  16. Adam B.
    7 November, 21:46

    I only subscribed to because Microsoft said its coming to Germany as well but we havent heard any news about it for months. I’m going to delete my account at the end of the year if I dont hear anything new until then. It can’t be that difficult. Vidzone for PS3 is working here, too.

    Adam B. – 7 November, 21:46
  17. zdunn
    11 November, 17:04

    How did you play Janelle Monae’s track while her music is not available on

    zdunn – 11 November, 17:04
  18. bentl3y
    13 November, 20:39

    This is Awesome!!!!!! Great implementation for Kinect. Works just as advertised. I can’t imagine going back to using the controller! Thanks for showing the xbox some love :)

    bentl3y – 13 November, 20:39
  19. t00nfish
    14 November, 19:30

    You killet I Bancroft my subscription

    t00nfish – 14 November, 19:30
  20. Kaseciu pildymas
    16 November, 13:22

    I thought his best line (same film) was “see you at the party, Victor!”?

    Kaseciu pildymas – 16 November, 13:22
  21. Voodoo Doll
    28 November, 14:22

    I love it – good work!

    Voodoo Doll – 28 November, 14:22
  22. mark proctor
    1 December, 22:57

    There is a Paragraph in the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy which describes this:
    “For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive – you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme.”
    hehe, Hopefully your implementation works a little better than that.

    mark proctor – 1 December, 22:57
  23. Jane
    5 December, 11:49

    To be perfectly frank, I am not pleased with the fact that there isn’t an app for blackberry users. Why not support such a large segment of the market? It does not make good business sense. You have hundreds of people who support (and I have since 2004), use blackberries and would listen to the radio if it were available to them on their phones. I am really put off by the games and tactics used promoting certain media forms (android, iphone and now the xbox) over others.

    Use your time to also develop a blackberry app that is going to be functional please.

    Jane – 5 December, 11:49

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