The Kinect, the popular motion-sensing controller for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console, seems to be poised to be integrated with Sony TVs and as well as personal computers in the near future.
The details were shared by reports and Microsoft itself recently.
First up, we have the official Kinect for PCs development. This news was one that was directly shared by Microsoft via the Kinect for Windows Blog. That development is actually not new, however, new details were shared about the Kinect for Windows by the Kinect for Windows Team.
The team writes:
“Since announcing a few weeks ago that the Kinect for Windows commercial program will launch in early 2012, we’ve been asked whether there will also be new Kinect hardware especially for Windows. The answer is yes; building on the existing Kinect for Xbox 360 device, we have optimized certain hardware components and made firmware adjustments which better enable PC-centric scenarios.”
Among the improvements Microsoft is developing for the Kinect for Windows is the ability of the device to focus on even nearer objects than what its brother for the Xbox can.
“Of particular interest to developers will be the new firmware which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeters. “Near Mode” will enable a whole new class of “close up” applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360,” the team says.
Other simple improvements for the Kinect for PCs are that it will have a shorter USB cable, along with a USB dongle for improved coexistence with other USB peripherals.
Next up, we have the news that Microsoft will license its Kinect technology in order for the device to be compatible with smart TVs produced by Sony and Vizio.
Yes, that’s the same Sony that manufactures the PlayStation. Nonetheless, Microsoft is dealing with the TV unit of the Japanese tech giant and not its gaming unit. Otherwise, that would be very awkward in the least.
The news was broken by The Daily which says that “sources familiar with the subject” have told them that Microsoft wants its Kinect to proliferate in as many living rooms as possible and the way to do that is to integrate it with TVs. Its unnamed sources told The Daily that Microsoft is in early stages of licensing Kinect technology to Sony and Vizio.
The publication writes:
“A Kinect-enabled TV would most likely network with local PCs running the next version of Windows and also allow for gesture-based TV control (think: waving your arm to turn the set off). It’s also possible the system would be able to recognize individual people and automatically resume programming where it was left off.”
Sony has a motion controller too, if you remember, and that is the Sony Move. Nonetheless, it’s not as popular as the Microsoft controller. In fact, the Kinect is holding a Guinness World Record for being the fastest selling consumer electronics device ever. How fast did the Kinects fly off the shelf soon after its release? Guinness says that on average, there were 133,333 Kinect controllers sold each day for the first 60 days from when it went on sale.
Because of its huge success, Microsoft is understandably developing the Kinect to be used in many more different applications beyond gaming.
With these developments, we will likely see Kinect controllers connected to Bravia TVs and Windows PCs soon.
Images adapted from Microsoft and Sony