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Microsoft's Kinect SDK Can Track and Listen

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the I'm-having-trouble-hearing-you-dave dept.

Microsoft 85

mikejuk writes "Microsoft has given more information on the Kinect SDK to be released later in the year. It will include the body tracking software that is used by the Xbox version of the Kinect, allowing it to track up to two people at the same time and stay locked on to them even if they leave and re-enter the frame. In addition, they promise to allow the microphone array to be used with the PC's speech recognition API. So, not only will future Kinect projects be able to track you — they can listen to what you say."

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Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810440)

This isn't news to anyone who has used or watched Kinnect games.

Re:Is this a joke? (3, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810596)

Microsoft can now report if you are active in the "Five Minutes Hate".

Re:Is this a joke? (1)

HelioWalton (1821492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810706)

This isn't about the Kinect's capabilities, it's about what capabilities Microsoft is making available in the SDK they are releasing for the kinect.

Re:Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810964)

Specifically, the Kinect for Windows SDK, not just the Kinect for XBox SDK.

Re:Is this a joke? (5, Informative)

kcitren (72383) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810954)

Wow, seems like everyone has missed the point of this article. Microsoft is releasing an SDK for Kinect development on non XBox hardware [i.e., normal computers]. This article say which Kinect features would be accessible via this SDK [camera? depth tracking? voice tracking? body tracking? etc.]. This has nothing to do with the XBox tracking you.

Re:Is this a joke? (0)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811230)

This has nothing to do with "normal computers", it's about a Windows specific SDK and it has nothing to do with those who are already using the Kinect using open source SDKs other than make them look over the shoulder and say "so?".

And "later in the year". WTF is taking them so long to release and SDK for Windows for that thing anyways? Oh, that's right, it's not about selling more Kinects, it's about how to develop the plan which will lock users into a platform(XBox or Windows). yawn.

LoB

Re:Is this a joke? (2)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811570)

> This has nothing to do with "normal computers", it's about a Windows specific SDK

So.... Windows specific SDKs only apply to abnormal computers?

Re:Is this a joke? (4, Informative)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811866)

Wow buddy, you seem pissed off. Let me calm you down by saying nobody gives a shit about your attitude or wild anti-microsoft assertions. The bottom line is Microsoft could piss diamonds all over your bedroom and shit poop all over your enemies and you would still find something to bitch about.

Microsoft doesn't develop on my schedule and hackers have already put out SDKs. I don't know why their commercial offering would take a while, its almost as if corporations don't move as fast as small teams! I don't understaaaaand! Why would anybody care about the manufacturer of a device supporting something we all want? I'm going to complain about it! That's you, and you sound pathetic.

Paranoid much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810442)

Cameras and microphones can be used to watch and listen to you? *gasp* How insidious!

If you're paranoid enough to be worrying about Kinect apps tracking and listening to you, perhaps you should not buy a Kinect? The summary is reallllly stretching to find an anti-MS angle on this development.

Re:Paranoid much (3, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810506)

Actually, the fact that there is a development kit coming out for what is, truthfully, a pretty innovative device, sort of makes me feel like there is a division of microsoft that is warring against the greater evil that is microsoft.

Re:Paranoid much (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810518)

sort of makes me feel like there is a division of microsoft that is warring against the greater evil that is microsoft.

The division is called Microsoft Research [wikipedia.org] , and it's been around for a while.

Re:Paranoid much (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810938)

I'm pretty sure Microsoft Research is not putting out the SDK.

Re:Paranoid much (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811680)

And I'm pretty sure the article states: "Developers can sign up to be notified of the release at http://research.microsoft.com/kinectsdk [microsoft.com] ".

Re:Paranoid much (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812930)

The what?

Re:Paranoid much (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | more than 3 years ago | (#35813498)

You should probably read articles and know what you're talking about before commenting on them. You may be pretty sure.. i don't know based on what... though you're completely wrong. Microsoft Research are the team behind the kinect sdk for Windows.

Re:Paranoid much (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35824332)

Which shows how fucked up Microsoft really is. Should your research arm be developing an SDK for a shipping product? No.

Pron applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810444)

Seems like this should have some great applications in the adult industry.

one word (4, Funny)

minogully (1855264) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810684)

Kinexxx

Re:Pron applications? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811236)

And the nanny-cam industry, detecting when teenagers left home alone are getting frisky on the couch.

Translation from tin-foil-hat-speak ... (3, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810448)

So, not only will future Kinect projects be able to track you ...

Your computer/console can respond to your gesture based commands.

... they can listen to what you say.

Your computer/console can respond to your verbal commands.

Re:Translation from tin-foil-hat-speak ... (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810492)

Honestly is that how people read the summary? I didn't even begin to think the summary was being paranoid or anti-microsoft. I thought it was just using descriptions for exactly what it does.

Re:Translation from tin-foil-hat-speak ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810564)

Honestly is that how people read the summary? I didn't even begin to think the summary was being paranoid or anti-microsoft. I thought it was just using descriptions for exactly what it does.

That's how the tin foil hat crowd will read it. I was helping them to see a different interpretation. :-)

Re:Translation from tin-foil-hat-speak ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810700)

That's how the tin foil hat crowd will read it. I was helping them to see a different interpretation. :-)

Firstly, get with the times, the new hat-fad-for-the-paranoid is Mu-Metal.

Secondly, you're stopping a layer short - the crowd you speak of now sees through the paranoid speak and that it's someone trying to make us paranoid of Microsoft - welcome brother.

Re:Translation from tin-foil-hat-speak ... (1)

MMInterface (1039102) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812116)

That's how the tin foil hat crowd will read it.

I really doubt that. Most likely people just don't read carefully and are used to Slashdot's misleading headlines.

Re:Translation from tin-foil-hat-speak ... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811320)

Honestly is that how people read the summary? I didn't even begin to think the summary was being paranoid or anti-microsoft. I thought it was just using descriptions for exactly what it does.

The articles that get the most responses (and, consequently, ad-serves) are the ones that get the pitchforks a'wavin.

Re:Translation from tin-foil-hat-speak ... (1)

RooftopActivity (1991792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35813534)

Did you not read it with even a slight hint of 1984? I thought *that* was obvious.

The Kinect is pretty smart. Finally a device with which a computer can both *remember people it sees*, and *differentiate between their voices*. As more money gets poured in, eventually they will embed this type of system in TVs. Now your TV can remember you and recognise you when you get home from work. - Hang on while I go and get my secret diary which is stashed out of the camera's view.

Re:Translation from tin-foil-hat-speak ... (1)

Ph4ntom74 (1486937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815954)

by the way, did you check this out yet?:

"U.S. scientists on Tuesday unveiled the world's first computerized human brain map, an online public resource developed to accelerate understanding of how the human brain works and in hopes to tackle neurological diseases like Alzeimer's and Parkinson's. Funded by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, the 55-million-U.S. dollar project, named the Allen Human Brain Atlas, identifies 1,000 anatomical sites in the human brain, backed by more than 100 million data points that indicate the particular gene expression and underlying biochemistry of each site, said the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science. The human brain map released so far is only male."

Yellow Circles (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810630)

Police Officer: "Are you classified as human?"
Kinect Owner: "Negative, I am a meat popsicle."

Re:Yellow Circles (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812348)

What does a Kinect have to do with having spent time in cryo sleep?

Re:Yellow Circles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814858)

I think he was referring to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Dd_qiuWxPs
Of course I could be missing your reference :)

Re:Translation from tin-foil-hat-speak ... (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810634)

I'm not going to worry about the tinfoil hat aspects of it. Microsoft's record of listening to anyone is pretty dismal.

Re:Translation from tin-foil-hat-speak ... (1)

Ph4ntom74 (1486937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815934)

I dont think anybody can understand the severity of this issue!!!
This is like having a government police inside doors 24/7!

Then it comes the Thought Police - which is technically more easy to do then one can imagine! Human brain functions between 6 and 16Hz if im not mistaken!
That console can obviously have an upgrade and have your thoughts scanned! So if you live in the US and have bad thoughts you can expect that your gonna go to jail in the next 5 years! This is the complete loosing of Freedom incrementally implemented step-by-step and we are all sleeping a very deep sleep! Some talk about conspiracy theories, the way i see it is a Conspiracy alright but not a Theory, it's a fracking Fact!!!

If one combine Google, Youtube, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple you got a world profiling database!(scared) And if you research who are the people behind these companies and how were they founded, you will be even more scared! They all tied up with the old (facelifted-Gestapo) CIA!!!
It's not about "well i dont have nothing to hide so i dont mind to be profiled", ask the Germans how all started when Hitler raise up to power!
America's constitution is being shredded day by day, law by law, with these corrupt (poor little souls) men in government by the very people who finance these kind of companies and finance projects with the obviously intent of controlling the world's information! Think about this, if you do not have a bad intent why in the world do you need to profile the whole population? This is not just a matter of philosophical questions, it is a matter of consciousness!

Wile people are so occupied with Tv, Football, Shopping, eating unhealthy food, drinking, drugs, etc... they make their "Adult" moves behind the scene, but they do it in a way that people actually embrace it; "oh its farm-ville, so fun, lets share our weekend photos, lets post ridiculous comments spreading all our actions in our daily lives to the same people that covertly robed 2.3 Trillion dollars!!!

Wake tha fuck up!!! Because the later you wake up, the more horrifying you gonna get!!!

Open Source is the way!!!

may the force be with you!

Luckily.... (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810486)

Microsoft doesn't have an advertising arm [microsoft.com] , nor is it aggressively moving into IPTV services [microsoft.com] . Their software platforms also have an excellent record of never being compromised, and the Kinect makes it trivially evident when its mics and/or camera are active.

Thus, there is no possible way in which this could be sinister. I was worried there for a minute...

Re:Luckily.... (4, Funny)

russryan (981552) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810524)

The Kinect SDK will also have a state of the art sarcasm detector.

Ob Joke (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810514)

In Soviet Russia game box tracks YOU!

oh, wait, in Capitalist USA game box tracks you, too...

Speech recognition (3, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810534)

Speech recognition would be a great feature if they could put it in phones. You know how it is when you are texting, you have to use both hands and keep your eyes on the phone.

Someone should invent a phone that you can just talk to.

Re:Speech recognition (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810680)

Uh, any Android phone can do that, and the recognition rate is pretty good. I use it for quick answers to my boss on a semi-regular basis.

Re:Speech recognition (1)

DigitalReverend (901909) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810752)

I have to push a button on my android phone. Is there one you can just speak to without having to touch it?

Re:Speech recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810804)

Keep in mind, to keep the device 'listening' all the time, searching for speech to recognize would consume a tremendous amount of battery.

The push/tap/haptic input to talk thing is a good thing, esp with today's battery tech.

Re:Speech recognition (1)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810986)

Keep in mind, to keep the device 'listening' all the time, searching for speech to recognize would consume a tremendous amount of battery.

The push/tap/haptic input to talk thing is a good thing, esp with today's battery tech.

It would also mean that everything you say would need to be sent to Google in real-time (because the Android speech recognition doesn't run on the phone but on Google's servers).

Re:Speech recognition (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811118)

That would be trivial to fix. It would just need to be able to recognize one single command to activate the full speech recognition. Everything else can just be considered gibberish to the phone. Think ST:TNG "Computer" command that the crew uses to issue commands to the computer. Of course, "Computer" is a stupid command to user for that, since it is a word that is commonly used in conversation. A gibberish new made up word would be better particularly if it had a easily processed different form for use in describing the command. That way if the word is used, the speech recognition knows that it is being used as a command.

Re:Speech recognition (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811500)

But also useful for giving surreptitious orders to the computer, but giving it a unique name to use as a trigger-word allows for that too:

Avon:
The greatest single factor is our armament, together with our main computer, Zen. As targets bear, main blasters will fire. Nine zero, full thrust!
Zen:
[s/, Zen. As/. Zen: as/] Confirmed.

Re: Constant Speech Recognition (1)

InsertCleverUsername (950130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812522)

We had a Magellan GPS years ago that responded to its name. It did a good job of constantly listening for voice commands --except when we had conversations about famous Portuguese explorers [wikipedia.org] , of course.

Re:Speech recognition (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810834)

No AFAIK unless you can control it through something like a car stereo, my dad can make his phone dial by voice in his GMC Terrain.

Re:Speech recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35811894)

I use Vlingo which has a feature you can turn on that allows you to say "Hey, Vlingo!", at which point it will wake up and ask you what you want to do. I use this all the time to text my wife to tell her I'm on the way home ("Text Sarah Message On My Way Home"), and it will process my message and read it back to me, allowing me to either say "Send" or "Cancel" if it didn't work.

The only down side is it's that feature, when turned on, isn't super for battery life but I haven't had any real issues with that, and its InCar mode is pretty useful.

Re:Speech recognition (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812878)

The android app VLingo has a mode you can turn on for use in the car or other situations where you can't use your hands. It tends to eat battery so you definitely want to have the phone plugged in when you use it.

Re:Speech recognition (1)

chammy (1096007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812952)

Try Vlingo. You can set it up to listen for a key phrase like "hey vlingo!" and it will start listening for commands. It's really handy when you're driving. Note that your phone is definitely not idling while its processing audio input and waiting for a key phrase.

Re:Speech recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35811400)

There are few main differences in the Kinect case
1- Kinect has a microphone Array, so it can tell you where the voice is coming from
2- Kinect also has a great noise cancelation given the fact that it is very close to a big screen TV with loud speakers and can still hear you clearly is real magic

Re:Speech recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35811464)

woosh

Re:Speech recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35812110)

Speech recognition would be a great feature if they could put it in phones. You know how it is when you are texting, you have to use both hands and keep your eyes on the phone.

Someone should invent a phone that you can just talk to.

My phone does that. Well, I do have to press the 'TALK' button, and wait for a few rings.

Re:Speech recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35812226)

I miss the days when I could believe this post was too stupid to be real.

Re:Speech recognition (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812326)

android. nuff said.

Re:Speech recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35813294)

Someone should invent a phone that you can just talk to.

Try Windows Phone 7, it already has speech recognition built in for most common funcitons - starting email, calling contacts, searching for a business or location near you, etc

Re:Speech recognition (1)

gnapster (1401889) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883802)

The straight man wins again!

Stereo microphone? (2)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810568)

I haven't inspected the tech myself, but If that's a stereo microphone (that is, a left and a right microphone), some added audio analysis would allow you to track who said what at the same time. Simultaneous audio commands, anyone? That'd be some nifty stuff.

Re:Stereo microphone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810656)

It's an array of I think five, for that very reason. Again, nothing is new here. This is what it was designed to do. This "news item" is just crazy tinfoil hat stuff.

Re:Stereo microphone? (1)

HelioWalton (1821492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810734)

No, the news item is that Microsoft isn't just putting motion tracking capabilities into the SDK, but they are also putting in the microphone capabilities. Jeez, you guys are reading way too much into this.

Re:Stereo microphone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810660)

I believe that one of the advertised features of the Kinect is that it can tell which player is issuing spoken commands.

Re:Stereo microphone? (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812338)

i think it has a bit more than two mics.

Re:Stereo microphone? (1)

spongman (182339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815378)

it has 4 mics, and apparently they do a whole lot of audio processing formerly considered impossible, like distinguishing multiple voices at a distance & noise-cancelling multiple sources. for example, they can do voice recognition on two different players while ignoring the sound coming from the TV, stereo, vacuum cleaner, etc...

Oh No! (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810584)

The device which I installed in my living room to track my movement and record what I say in order to play games and video conference....is going to track my movement and record what I say! M$ does it again! When will the tyranny stop? Oh the humanity!

Tele-screen (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810610)

I mean you guys HAVE read 1984, haven't you?

Re:Tele-screen (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811722)

Now we can see you. Stand out in the middle of the room. Stand back to back. Clasp your hands behind your heads. Do not touch one another. The house is surrounded. You may as well say good-bye.

And by the way, while we are on the subject, "Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head"!

I'm afraid (2)

cstacy (534252) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810614)

Open the pod bay doors, Hal.

Re:I'm afraid (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810724)

Hi, I'm HAL1000, the Kinect Guide. Are you having trouble opening the pod bay doors? First, try accessing the Kinect Guide Menu by assuming the pause position, where your left hand is 45 degrees out from your body and your right hand is against your body. Next, hover your hand over the "Kinect Tuner" button. Follow the instructions, as we make you walk around the room and do silly poses for no good reason. Then repeat the words on screen, out loud, no matter how ridiculous or incriminating they might sound, as these phrases were chosen at random. Finally, find that cue card that came with one of your games. We didn't actually write what it was ON the cue card, but we figured you'd know what it was and that you wouldn't toss it out as completely useless.

Now, try the Open the "pod bay doors" gesture, as indicated on the screen. Place both hands in front of you, and seperate them till your arms are 90 degrees out from your body.

Still not working? Well, you can turn on your controller and press x...

just a moment...
just a moment...

I'm detecting large amounts of profanities and I believe you said "Why didn't you tell me that first?". Is that correct?

banned from /., scrapping with bottom feeders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810618)

censorship is more about blocking the truth nowadays than any nobel effort to protect people who give their unsecrets up freely, which is terrifying to the royals, rulers etc... to whom the truth really does hurt, & must be avoided, so as not to hurt them, so they won't hurt/kill us unchosens, any worse, or much more, while killing our enemies, forever & ever, amen. that takes care of that.

fuddles' toy is a gadget whose proceeds are used to fund eugenetic depopulation programs, so that's another undocumented feature?

In Soviet Russia (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810726)

You track your Kinect.

Open the Garage Door, Kinect. (0)

f8l_0e (775982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810770)

I'm afraid I can't do that Dave.

Obligatory (0)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810820)

In Soviet Russia the XBox plays with you.

one reason for saving (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811002)

How many super hotties who might not be too smart play XBox in the nude when they are home alone?

OK, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35811086)

Can it read lips?

Re:OK, but (1)

Meski (774546) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814888)

Which lips?

Oh come on, MS bashers.. (3, Interesting)

pcardno (450934) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811306)

Hackers Hack Kinect And Can Program It: Amazing Scenes!
Microsoft Give You Access To Kinect To Program It: Privacy Fears Abound!!!!

Why on earth is this written as a negative story rather a positive story about the capabilities that people will be able to explore?

Re:Oh come on, MS bashers.. (3, Informative)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35811666)

It is just hilarious. This site bitches when MS doesnt release an SDK. Now that there will be one, there must be some evil means behind it.

Re:Oh come on, MS bashers.. (2)

InsertCleverUsername (950130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812548)

Why on earth is this written as a negative story rather a positive story about the capabilities that people will be able to explore?

You must be new here...

Re:Oh come on, MS bashers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35827218)

MS-made SDK = lock-out for enemies of MS (including Apple + open source).
Usually tnat's what happens.

Ok, it can listen. (1)

holmstar (1388267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812232)

...but can it stop and collaborate?

track you and listen to what you say (1)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812412)

What a stretch to try to spin SDK functionality in a negative light. Chip on shoulder much mikejuk?

will be installed in the MS terminator I hope BOSD (2)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812426)

will be installed in the MS terminator I hope it gets a BSOD before the killing starts.

I for one.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35812462)

would like to welcome our new body tracking overlords!

Weapons application? (1)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35812916)

How long until this SDK and a Kinect get turned into missile guidance or a AEGIS like control for a chain gun?

Re:Weapons application? (1)

woodhouse (625329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35813270)

It would have to be a pretty short range missile/chaingun. The range is something like 4 metres.

can it detect... (1)

Meski (774546) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814880)

The throwing of chairs by sweat-stained CEO's?

Am I the only person.. (1)

Journe (1493651) | more than 3 years ago | (#35816226)

...who read this and started looking around and measuring their living room, trying to decide how to move everything around to get a decent layout, so I can use this to get a whole Minority Report interface going?

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