Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Releases Kinect For Windows

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the flail-away dept.

Microsoft 130

nk497 writes "Microsoft has released Kinect for Windows, featuring a new "near mode" that lets the gesture control tech be used as close as 40cm. The Kinect for Windows hardware will retail at $249 — well above the price of the version for Xbox 360 consoles. Microsoft defended the price difference, saying sales of games and Xbox Live subscriptions help subsidize the console version. The new version will support Windows 7 and the Windows 8 developer preview, as well as Windows Embedded 7 devices."

cancel ×

130 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

BOUGHT FUCKING TIME !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895335)

I've been waiting a long time !!

Re:BOUGHT FUCKING TIME !! (4, Funny)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895409)

Bought fucking time.

Down at the corner?

More two the point. (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896057)

WINE version. Where is it?

Re:More two the point. (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897149)

There is a Linux project for a Kinect driver.

Re:BOUGHT FUCKING TIME !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896321)

Who buys fucking time on the corner these days? Isn't that what craigslist is for?

Re:BOUGHT FUCKING TIME !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895529)

Do they charge by the minute or the hour for fucking time?

Cause really, although I would like an hour or so I know I would only last a few minutes.

Re:BOUGHT FUCKING TIME !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896737)

Why didn't you ask? You could have had your fucking fucking time for free. Now you're too old.

fuck off (-1, Troll)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895361)

Microsoft defended the price difference, saying sales of games and Xbox Live subscriptions help subsidize the console version.

Well, isn't that right? Sorry MS, I don't want to subsidize your console.

Re:fuck off (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895459)

How about that reading comprehension. The console version is cheaper due to Xbox live subs, and the PC version has no Xbox live to support the cost. Im still calling bullshit on the price but call it in the correct manner, otherwise you make us sound worse than the retards who willingly buy this crap.

Re:fuck off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895623)

Well games and live subs. PS3 and Xbox360 were sold at a loss for most of their life, though newer revisions have been cheap enough on the manufacturing cost to turn that around, even if only slightly. Its only the Wii (and DS) in the current 'generation' where the console itself was also a profit center, hence the 'it prints money' jokes.

Re:fuck off (-1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895667)

old kinect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895851)

That's the old kinect. This one has different sensor capabilities.

Re:fuck off (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895883)

Don't forget to add in assembly costs, RND, plastics, tooling, packaging etc. Obviously these things go down over time, but I'd estimate there would be an extra $5-$10 in cost, at the least. So lats say $70 cost to MS. This $249 price gives MS roughly a 20%-35% profit on each one, depending on what their wholesale price is. Hardly looks like a money grab to me.

Re:fuck off (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895885)

That article is bunk, at least as far as supporting your assertion. It's a very basic, estimated BOM breakdown, excluding all development, marketing, support, distribution, retailer profit at about 5 or 6%, etc.

Re:fuck off (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896367)

Are you serious? You really think the entire cost of a device comes down to the sum of its parts? No costs involved in packaging, manufacturing, shipping, marketing, R&D, software development, profit, etc...? The iphone 4S is estimated at having a BOM totaling $188 [technorati.com] , but anyone with a shred of intelligence knows that there's much more to developing such a thing than simply buying those parts.

Re:fuck off (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896583)

I suppose you also believe you are only worth your weight in carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen right?

Re:fuck off (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896957)

When computing my self-worth I also factor in calcium, iron and all the various heavy metals I have accumulated over the years.

WoR k z !!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895379)

i JU-st P000000steD tHIz using mi NEw keNe C t!

Re:WoR k z !!! (1)

davewoods (2450314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896823)

Why did this get modded down? I found it particularly hilarious.

Still fairly affordable (2)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895381)

Considering the tech they're supplying. If you bought similar tech for a hobby robot or something, I'd bet the price would be even higher. (I don't know if that's the case as I haven't done hobby robotics since the RCX Lego Programmable Brick. Ah, memories)

Re:Still fairly affordable (2)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895393)

It's a good deal.

I don't have a windows os on anything at home, but I have a Kinect.

Re:Still fairly affordable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895405)

Considering the tech they're supplying. If you bought similar tech for a hobby robot or something, I'd bet the price would be even higher. (I don't know if that's the case as I haven't done hobby robotics since the RCX Lego Programmable Brick. Ah, memories)

Hobby robots use the Kinect from the 360, so the price is much lower.

Re:Still fairly affordable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895639)

Considering the tech they're supplying. If you bought similar tech for a hobby robot or something, I'd bet the price would be even higher. (I don't know if that's the case as I haven't done hobby robotics since the RCX Lego Programmable Brick. Ah, memories)

Hobby robots use the Kinect from the 360, so the price is much lower.

And before that they used expensive, finnicky ToF cameras that cost thousands of dollars.

And here is an upgraded (near mode!) and completely unsubsidized model that's still drastically cheaper than all previous models save one, and people are bitching that it's too expensive...

Re:Still fairly affordable (5, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895431)

The cheapest 2D LIDAR you're going to find is about $2000 (Hokuyo URG [acroname.com] ). It has pretty terrible range for a LIDAR, but it's still a good sensor. For 3D ranging you're going to spend at least a grand. The IFM O3D 2XX is the cheapest 3D Flash LIDAR I know of, and you're only getting 64x48 pixels of resolution, so essentially 1% of the pixels you're getting back from the Kinect for 10x the price. Given this, the Kinect is truely an amazing sensor.

Re:Still fairly affordable (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895479)

I'd love to see something comparable with a passive sensor. You'd need a pair of cameras and some serious algorithms though, wouldn't you?

Re:Still fairly affordable (3, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895537)

That's the main problem facing perception systems today. Humans have these two simple exteroceptive eyeballs and yet we can do incredible things. That's thanks to the amazing computational power of our brain, which we hardly understand. Thus, when we try to replicate our cognitive abilities we end up with algorithms that are completely intractable. I think this is in a large part due to computer scientists tendency to approach things with an engineering perspective instead of a biological perspective.

Re:Still fairly affordable (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896953)

That's the main problem facing perception systems today. Humans have these two simple exteroceptive eyeballs and yet we can do incredible things. That's thanks to the amazing computational power of our brain, which we hardly understand. Thus, when we try to replicate our cognitive abilities we end up with algorithms that are completely intractable. I think this is in a large part due to computer scientists tendency to approach things with an engineering perspective instead of a biological perspective.

Well, stuff like that isn't "wow".

The problem is well, we treat computers as automation. We let computers do stuff we find hard or boring. The stuff we find easy, it turns out, is very hard to do on computers - natural language processing (face it - a lot of people went "so what?" when they saw Watson last year), vision processing (object recognition, character/word recognition), and hearing.

It's stuff we don't think about - and it's boring to most people who can't comprehend how we can do stuff like read printed text, but the computer can't do a reliable job of it.

It's probably one of the ironies in life. We have computers doing stuff easily that we find hard, and stuff we do easily computers find hard.

Re:Still fairly affordable (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897601)

Thus, when we try to replicate our cognitive abilities we end up with algorithms that are completely intractable. I think this is in a large part due to computer scientists tendency to approach things with an engineering perspective instead of a biological perspective.

It's because we try to replicate those cognitive abilities on systems that are fundamentally different. Computers aren't subjective, they don't make assumptions, they don't estimate, etc... and even if they do those things they do them in the exact way humans have told them to do it.

Re:Still fairly affordable (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895561)

That, and a rifle to use on all the assholes who keep hanging Escher prints in the cameras' field of view and laughing hysterically at your algorithm's attempt to cope...

PrimeSense = kinect = other offerings (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897075)

oops.. I posted above accidentally.

short version: Don't forget competing products also based on the Primesense technology.

Microsoft DID NOT MAKE THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND KINECT !

They didn't even buy the company that did!

check out www.Primesense.com or search for primesense on the kinect wikipedia page ( before someone rewrites history that is.. ).

Re:PrimeSense = kinect = other offerings (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897335)

Microsoft DID NOT MAKE THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND KINECT !

Do you think anyone actually cares? You really have no grasp on reality do you. How many features of say the iPhone do you think Apple invented? Pretty much nothing! Their innovation is the way they bring it to market, same as with Kinect. How many people have competing primesense devices vs people who have kinect?

Re:Still fairly affordable (2)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897635)

Kinetic depth resolution is only 320x240.

Re:Still fairly affordable (3, Informative)

kingcool1432 (993113) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895605)

Also, from the article: "Although you will be able to download the SDK and use it with an existing Kinect for Xbox 360 for your own, personal development purposes <snip>"

Sounds good enough for hobbyists.

PrimeSense prices? Re:Still fairly affordable (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896995)

You're forgetting about competing products from Primesense ( the guys Microsoft licensed the Kinect technology from ). Primesense has teamed up with Asus for some products as well.

I'm amazed at how many people think Microsoft developed Kinect. To me it looks like the only thing they did was come up with a name for their version. The Kinect looks identical to the reference design from Primesense.

I wonder if their Kinect patent filing was all about.. a weapon to use to bully primesense - that would be classic microsoft.
If any patent pro's are out there I'd be interested to hear an opinion on the kinect patent's novelty... or is it purely designed for courtroom posturing?

Can I get a "near mode" for the XBox now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895395)

Maybe they need to rev the hardware to give it a fisheye lens, because the FOV on the damn thing as it is now makes me stand like eight feet away ... which is on top of my couch. I find overall that the voice control is nice, the rest is just an annoying gimmick.

Too late (5, Funny)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895417)

Looks like Windows 8 touch interface is already outdated. Don't bother with the Kinect, mind control will be available soon.

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896919)

mind control is rabish!
to send action in mind control it takes average of 5 seconds. that limits for 12 actions per minute.

that's rabish!

New Drivers? (2)

getto man d (619850) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895477)

I thought OpenNI's implementation was supposed to be pretty darn good (compared to say the freenect drivers) as far as offering more options / tools. Just looking at their APIs shows how much you can really do. What I don't understand is this 'Kinect for Windows': is the difference just updated code..?

Re:New Drivers? (5, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895565)

According to Microsoft [msdn.com] :
  • Support for up to four Kinect sensors plugged into the same computer
  • Significantly improved skeletal tracking, including the ability for developers to control which user is being tracked by the sensor
  • Near Mode for the new Kinect for Windows hardware, which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the device
  • Many API updates and enhancements in the managed and unmanaged runtimes
  • The latest Microsoft Speech components (V11) are now included as part of the SDK and runtime installer
  • Improved “far-talk” acoustic model that increases speech recognition accuracy
  • New and updated samples, such as Kinect Explorer, which enables developers to explore the full capabilities of the sensor and SDK, including audio beam and sound source angles, color modes, depth modes, skeletal tracking, and motor controls
  • A commercial-ready installer which can be included in an application’s set-up program, making it easy to install the Kinect for Windows runtime and driver components for end-user deployments.
  • Robustness improvements including driver stability, runtime fixes, and audio fixes

Re:New Drivers? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895727)

If the hardware is the same, and it sounds like it is, then it should be a simple matter to modify the driver inf to support the XBox Kinect vendor/hardware IDs.

Re:New Drivers? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895861)

Apparently the hardware is modestly different(supports closer-in operation, probably costs peanuts at scale, might be a pain to find the right IR-band lenses to mod one yourself); but you might run into some trouble in that MS has been pushing toward signed drivers only for a while now. XP and 32-bit versions of the later stuff can be told to ignore it; but 64-bit 7 does some serious whining if the signatures don't check out...

Re:New Drivers? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897775)

You can buy a slip-over "wide angle lens" for about $20 on ebay that's designed to work specifically with the existing 360 Kinect. I don't think the existing lenses handle 16" but it might be able to handle 36 or 40". A 16" desktop model slip over lens isn't too far off though, I suspect.

Re:New Drivers? (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898115)

I don't think the signing applies to the .inf file, just the executable code.

Nothing To Do Yet (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895487)

"... Microsoft has already confirmed that the Kinect will ... not even run on Windows PCs that aren't also running the developer's kit and using the device otherwise may actually void the warranty."

http://news.consumerreports.org/electronics/2012/01/ces-2012-kinect-for-windows-doesnt-mean-youll-be-playing-games-on-your-pc.html [consumerreports.org]

So if you are not a developer, save your money.

Re:Nothing To Do Yet (2, Informative)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895839)

Since the developer's kit is free . . . what's the issue? [read TFA]

-GiH

Re:Nothing To Do Yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897079)

Since the developer's kit is free . . . what's the issue? [read TFA]

It's not Plug and "Play". If you're buying this because you want to play your PC games like you do your Xbox games, or maybe just "Play Office" then you will probably need to wait awhile longer.

If you are a developer, or think you might be interested in learning about programming for this type of hardware, then by all means have at it. It looks like a wicked fun piece of hardware.

Re:Nothing To Do Yet (4, Insightful)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896123)

Prerequisites have existed for software installers for a few years now. I don't know how easy it is to add this SDK to an installer (haven't had to do it), but eventually (if not already) there'll be a template/plugin for Visual Studio and all a programmer will need to do when creating their installer, is check the box for the Kinect SDK prerequisite. Maybe they won't even have to do that, the current VS 2010 installer project will autodect a bunch of prerequisites for your project automatically and just do the right thing.

Re:Nothing To Do Yet (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898161)

...Which would be a copyright violation as Microsoft haven't (as far as I'm aware) provided a license to redistribute the SDK in such a manner.

Re:Nothing To Do Yet (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898501)

If it behaves in the same way as the other prerequsites, the installer doesn't include a copy of the SDK. It contains some smarts about checking to see if it's installed on the computer, and if not knows where to go get it (ie the Microsoft download servers). So I don't think that would break copyright, given that it's the Microsoft servers making the copy. According to the Kinect SDK FAQ [microsoft.com] "The commercial license authorizes development and distribution of commercial applications." I'm no lawyer, but I read that as allowing for the deployment of applications to systems which aren't used for development.

Re:Nothing To Do Yet (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897451)

Wow, why leave out the "at least initially"? Doesn't say that it never will, only that it won't work at first.

Re:Nothing To Do Yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897545)

Wow, why leave out the "at least initially"? Doesn't say that it never will, only that it won't work at first.

Good point, and you are right. I found the original sentence hard to parse, so I left out the "at least initially". Unfortunately that changed the meaning too much.

My poorly made point was trying to say that non-developers might want to hold off for the present until there is some/more software available that supports the device.

Embedded devices? (1)

dstyle5 (702493) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895495)

Since I'm too lazy to RTFA, is the embedded device SDK meant to bring Kinect functionality to embedded devices/phones using your phone's built-in camera and mic? Or do you get to plug your Kinect into your phone and bring it with you on the bus?

Re:Embedded devices? (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895643)

Kinect would need a lot of work to get it small enough to fit inside of a phone.

Re:Embedded devices? (4, Insightful)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895919)

I don't think so. You would still need the Kinect since there is specialized hardware in it that allows all this to work. When they talk about embedded devices, I seriously doubt they are talking about phones, or any other consumer electronics. This sort of support is most likely targeted at point-of-sale embedded devices or kiosks or something else along those lines.

what is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895499)

Kinect?

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895527)

you could open and close Windows without using a mouse.

Re:wow (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895923)

you could reboot Windows without using a mouse.

Now that's something!

Re:wow (3, Funny)

Gruturo (141223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896413)

you could reboot Windows without using a mouse.

Now that's something!

Windows-Up-Right-Right-Right-Up-Enter. Hadouken...erm, reboot.
Might change slighly if you changed your power settings. Ctrl-Esc if you don't have a Windows key.

Ugh, I just confessed to knowing some MS stuff on /. /me braces for the incoming downvotes :)

road rage! (5, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896723)

It'd almost be worth it if it could be programmed to interpret the one-finger salute as the three-finger salute.

Re:road rage! (1)

The Mister Purple (2525152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897557)

But I want to use the one finger salute for leaving YouTube comments!

Re:wow (1)

cob666 (656740) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896771)

ALT-F4 is still easier.

MS always late to the party (-1, Troll)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895535)

Even with their own products. Its embarrassing that they took so long to realize the potential for this, and even then hackers beat them at it by years. Then there's the other 3rd party companies who ALSO beat them to market, and with cheaper products. Microsoft's innovation is staggering.

So wait, its more expensive? And there's going to be less games that use it. (see: none) Few if any will buy it, so nobody will waste time developing AAA games that use it, so nobody will buy it, so nobody will develop for it...

So without mainstream games, who is this supposed to appeal to? The very hackers who already got it working, because they wanted it? Whoops.

So, they're guessing people will buy it so that they can make voice commands to their computer like with the xbox? (which only works so-so)
But if that is the case, why not just add that software capability to Windows?! They can use existing microphones and webcams, gestures aren't as important since you HAVE A MOUSE that works perfectly well.

Absolute failure in marketing. I can't believe MS hasn't gone bankrupt yet, nobody likes their products. Zune sucks, Windows Live sucks, Windows Phone sucks... Oh yeah, thats right. They make their money by suing android manufacturers and by abusing their OS monopoly (7 should have been a patch to Vista, not a "new" OS to purchase, and they have completely ignored gaming on Windows, and fail to innovate. Year after year the only new features to Windows are features that have been in OSX for a few years).


INB4 "obvious MS bashing" Maybe they deserve some ridicule.

Re:MS always late to the party (1)

chispito (1870390) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895641)

INB4 "obvious MS bashing" Maybe they deserve some ridicule.

Do you really need to type that you are "INB4" a response--any response--to your own post?

Re:MS always late to the party (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895679)

inresponse2 doesn't have the same ring. :p

Re:MS always late to the party (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895743)

I can't believe MS hasn't gone bankrupt yet, nobody likes their products.

Microsoft is one of the most successful companies from the last 2 decades. Your lack of touch with reality is staggering.

Re:MS always late to the party (1)

trschober (1192951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895899)

Being economically successful does not mean that people like your products. Why do you think windows phone is failing miserably? Just utter the word "windows" near any regular joe and they will immediately associate it to viruses, trojans, slowness and that dreaded computer that always seems to be acting on its own. It's only the enterprise market that's keeping microsoft afloat. That, and the monumental monopoly that they got on the desktop thanks to their antitrust violations during the 90's.

Re:MS always late to the party (3, Funny)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896007)

That, and the monumental monopoly that they got on the desktop thanks to their antitrust violations during the 90's.

They achieved a monopoly by being a monopoly?

no, they *stayed* a monopoly by taking advantage (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897425)

They got on top, then illegally exploited that position to try and keep anyone else from competing on a fair playing field.

Re:MS always late to the party (5, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895793)

Then there's the other 3rd party companies who ALSO beat them to market, and with cheaper products. Microsoft's innovation is staggering.

Where are the sub $140 RGBD sensors that beat Kinect to market?

So wait, its more expensive? And there's going to be less games that use it. (see: none) Few if any will buy it, so nobody will waste time developing AAA games that use it, so nobody will buy it, so nobody will develop for it...

This isn't just about games anymore. This isn't even just about desktop PCs. We're talking about the ability to build customized solutions using Kinect sensors for commercial sale and educational applications.

So without mainstream games, who is this supposed to appeal to?

Companies looking to commercialize and educational institutions, as evidenced by the commercial license and educational pricing.

So without mainstream games, who is this supposed to appeal to? The very hackers who already got it working, because they wanted it? Whoops.

People who don't want to go through the hassle of hacking it. It's relatively easy if you have the know how. But in many ways it's a pain in the ass. Nothing is easier than plugging it into windows and clicking "install" and having access to everything. Plus, the Windows SDK has access to much more advanced features you don't get with the hacked versions, including access to Windows speech recognition engine (which is very good) as well as bangarang skeletal tracking with a few lines of code. With the hacked API, you get sensor streams and that's it. You have to leverage several different architectures in order to get the functionality the Windows SDK provides. Microsoft is offering a better learning curve and that is worth something.

But if that is the case, why not just add that software capability to Windows?!

Windows 7 can already handle voice commands. Search for "Speech recognition" in the start menu.

The rest of your post is just blind nerd-rage.

Re:MS always late to the party (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895951)

They aren't integrating it into windows like with the xbox's OS though, and they're certainly not marketing it. They're too busy talking about how you can do magic with "the cloud"!

I guess "educational software" was the answer. Doesn't seem like educational software with kinect controls has a huge demand though, educational software alone is a pretty small niche, and I don't see how gesture controls would help that much. The more gesture-based you make it, the more it becomes a game and the less it becomes a learning tool. It just seems like you can get all the same learning with a mouse interface, and children aren't exactly afraid to use a mouse. If anything, the whole wii movement controls was more of a hit with adults and elderly and non-gamers.

Re:MS always late to the party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896069)

You don't tend to advertise enterprise systems the same way as you do consumer systems. Also, your lack of comprehension on its uses fairly clearly demonstrates your lack of vision, intuition, and innovation. It is a niche product, yes, but its evident you don't understand that the world is filled with such.

Re:MS always late to the party (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896141)

They aren't integrating it into windows like with the xbox's OS though, and they're certainly not marketing it.

I'm assuming you're referring to speech recognition here? True they're not marketing it, but it's deeply integrated into the OS. In fact I can perform just about any function the mouse can, even web browse. It's not perfect, but I use it all the time when I'm away from the keyboard. You can even make macros. I have one I use to bring up weather and traffic information in the morning when I'm getting ready for work.

I guess "educational software" was the answer.

Not educational software, but for education. As in computer vision and robotics education/research. We just bought 15 kinect sensors for my lab to use for a course in computer vision next semester. We use the kinect all the time in our research. The only reason we didn't buy these new sensors is because we can't wait for the educational pricing to go live. I imagine most computer science departments around the world will want to have a fleet of kinects on hand for their curriculum as well.

Re:MS always late to the party (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896255)

Seems like CS majors would definitely have a good use for kinects (Have a CS degree myself, sadly there wasn't a kinect to play with in computer vision class, but we got by ^ ^ ) but couldn't they get by fine with the existing xbox kinect and the workarounds? If anybody can google, its some CS majors.

And education for computer majors still seems like a TINY niche. Maybe you're buying 15, but even if every college buys 15, is that worth much? Eh.

I think Microsoft has higher hopes for this.

Re:MS always late to the party (1)

prehistoricman5 (1539099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896515)

It's interesting you mention this. My uni has a class this semester that's main focus is on developing new uses for the kinect.

Re:MS always late to the party (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897105)

children aren't exactly afraid to use a mouse

The ones with no hands are afraid to use a mouse.
You've failed to see the accessiblity benefits.

Re:MS always late to the party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898453)

Kinect has a hard time recognizing flippers.

Re:MS always late to the party (2)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897449)

It opens up the horizon to everybody or at least people with imagination or a real-world need. The article in Investor's Business Daily had a photo of a guy steering his lounge chair by waving his hands in front of the unit mounted on the chair's armrest. Wait till Homer Simpson hears about this. "You know you've built a platform that's captured everyone's imagination when you hear back from a slaughterhouse that says they've built an app that measures the livestock's growth with Kinect, and they want to sell it to other slaughterhouses around the world." Craig Eisler, GM of kinect for Windows.

And it all started with this console that they gave their kid for gaming.

Re:MS always late to the party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895945)

Even with their own products. Its embarrassing that they took so long to realize the potential for this, and even then hackers beat them at it by years.

Yeah, those hackers totally put out Kinect before Microsoft... wait...

I mean, you realize the difference between "hacking on an existing product" and "getting an improved version of an existing product and a release-ready SDK out for sale", right?

Re:MS always late to the party (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895977)

You wanna mod me uninformative or flamebait, maybe I'd understand, but troll? I'm being quite genuine with my feelings here. I don't see this selling.

Re:MS always late to the party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896971)

You wanna mod me uninformative or flamebait, maybe I'd understand, but troll? I'm being quite genuine with my feelings here. I don't see this selling.

But facts usually aren't decided by "feelings". You made some specific claims about cheaper competitors that need citation. Further up in the thread you can read about what have existed as similar alternatives, to 10x the price and less capabilities than Kinect, if you truly understand all it's capabilities.

Re:MS always late to the party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896661)

Even with their own products. Its embarrassing that they took so long to realize the potential for this, and even then hackers beat them at it by years.

So on the one hand you're saying it's embarrassing they took so long and then later you're saying it's pointless, standard contradictory MS-bashing. Idiot.

Then there's the other 3rd party companies who ALSO beat them to market, and with cheaper products.

Like who? Are you referring to things like eyeToy? Don't let the fact that they are totally different get in the way of your MS-bashing. And again, you claim they've been beaten to market, but then later claim the device is pointless...moron.

So without mainstream games, who is this supposed to appeal to? The very hackers who already got it working, because they wanted it? Whoops.

I see you fail at basic business. They already have a product, all they do is re-brand that and sell it, it doesn't have to appeal to a huge audience, but if someone finds something particularly innovative to do with it then they are ahead of the curve.

They can use existing microphones and webcams, gestures aren't as important since you HAVE A MOUSE that works perfectly well.

More contradictory rubbish, you complain that they don't innovate then you go on to say they shouldn't bother trying anyway because we already have devices like the mouse.

Absolute failure in marketing. I can't believe MS hasn't gone bankrupt yet, nobody likes their products. Zune sucks, Windows Live sucks, Windows Phone sucks...
Oh yeah, thats right. They make their money by suing android manufacturers

They make their money on Windows and Office, and now they are making money on XBox (and its Zune services) too.

and by abusing their OS monopoly

The 90's called, they want their rhetoric back.

and they have completely ignored gaming on Windows, and fail to innovate.

There couldn't be much more of a retard than you with that statement, Windows is the only viable desktop gaming platform. Mac and Linux are still way behind on games.

So now... (0)

E_Ron.Eous (2521544) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895541)

Windows can be rebooted without touching the keyboard. What a monumental advance.

Rebooting without the keyboard (2)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895649)

Windows can be rebooted without touching the keyboard. What a monumental advance.

As someone higher up already said, MS is late to the party.

I've been rebooting my Windows machine for years without touching the keyboard. I use my boot.

No, really -- there's a Reset button on the front of the box, which sits under my desk. So when Windows is acting up, I kick the button. (Admittedly, less frequently as time has passed and they've ironed out the bugs.)

Re:Rebooting without the keyboard (1)

chromas (1085949) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895973)

Most cases I've seen in the last couple decades have a tiny, inset reset button. Do you have a tack duct taped to your boot?

Re:Rebooting without the keyboard (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896081)

If you're using the reset button any time an operating system is "acting up" you're going to be causing way more problems than you'll be fixing.

A good use.... (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895937)

User: Fuuuus-DOH-sah! Healing. (Raise left hand)

Seems pretty straightforward to me.

My forehead is just 20" from my monitor (1)

aoeusnth (101740) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896289)

(I just measured it in my office in plain sight of my colleagues, with a ruler sticking out of my head). My hands would be mere inches away from the Kinect. How's that going to work?

For one thing, I'd have to lean back to bitchslap in Duke Nukem Forever, which frankly is a bit girly.

Re:My forehead is just 20" from my monitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898527)

20", which is 50cm, and so will be detected just fine.

Watch out for the clippy integration ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896729)

Clippy: You appear to be masturbating. Do you need help with that?

Nice (2)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896781)

I bash MS quite often so in all fairness...

IMHO, this is an awesome piece of kit at an incredibly affordable price. Good going Microsoft, you've done well.

Damn, saying that has made my face twitch.

A MS boner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897193)

I really don't get this. I have the kinect for XBox, it's a bit gimmicky, but interesting and enjoyable in the way Wii was when it first came out. But I don't see the value add to a PC version.

All this hullaballoo about motion controlling TV's, your PC's, etc., makes no sense to me. Noone has yet to explain to me how using a Kinect and waving my hands around to control things on screen is easier then moving my wrist and finger a few mm to control my mouse or my thumb a few mm for a TV remote.

I'm sure the whole thing will be cool in a Minority report way, but I don't see how it can make it easier to interact with my PC and my gut tells me that for folks that get it, it's going to end up sitting on top of monitors collecting dust while people use their mice and keyboards.

Re:A MS boner? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897535)

It will become highly useful where one can replace a (filthy) keyboard and mouse e.g. sterile environments where surgeons need to enter info while performing surgery or where electronics are manufactured. Conference rooms that don't need the pointer or keyboard anymore could use the interface.

It's more like, where can we use this, other than the gaming room? "I'd like to see if I caught a bigger fish than Ralph did; put your money on the table!" Then he uses his hands to show Ralph that he set a record.

ubuntu 12 (1)

gladish (982899) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897317)

Does this mean I'll have to dance in front of my computer to upgrade to ubuntu 12.0?

One thing i never understood (1, Interesting)

initialE (758110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897371)

Have you seen the design of a kinect? An up-down motor that runs once per power cycle and really only needs to be realigned when it is moved to a different position. Sensors 7cm apart that are housed in a 30cm frame of cheap tacky plastic, leading to a much bigger shipping box than necessary.. The kinect should be cheaper and smaller than it is now, what on earth is in all the empty space anyway?

Re:One thing i never understood (3, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897985)

The up/down is for people who are different hights, or for games which are better played sitting/kneeling vs. standing. I don't know, maybe everybody who uses your kinect are all the same hight and always use it from the same position, but for the rest of us that motor is pretty important.

The spacing on the visual sensors doesn't require such a wide sensor bar, but the spacing on the microphones (for effective direction-sensing and noise-cancelation) does. People always focus on the optical portion of the sensor, and ignore the highly-focused microphones (possible because they're harder to see).

Does 360 Version Work On PC? (1)

SoVi3t (633947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897429)

Too busy to fully search, but what is the difference between Kinect on Windows and on 360. I know it says it has near mode, but is that only supported on Windows Kinects? Do I need to buy ANOTHER kinect (one for my 360, and one for my pc) or can I just use the Kinect I have for my X-Box 360 on my PC?

Re:Does 360 Version Work On PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898495)

Early reports were that yes, you would need to buy a new "kinect for windows" for anything using microsoft's software (though the open source software does and will continue to support the "kinect for xbox" on windows (and mac and linux).

For all the criticism Microsoft gets... (1)

JohnnyMindcrime (2487092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897441)

...you'd think they'd want to help with getting some Open Source drivers developed for Kinect.

I personally cannot see a use for Kinect but I recognise the algorithms that make it work are pretty cool and Microsoft is rightfully quite proud of it. Hardware hackers are definitely going to be interested in it but if the majority of those are Open Source freaks, I doubt many of them will end up paying for a Windows 7 license just to use it on a desktop PC.

Common sense would have been for Microsoft to show off something good they've done, help develop Open Source drivers, and benefit from some additional Kinect sales when hardware hackers play with it on their Linux PCs.

Be healthy in front of your computer (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897799)

else the screen turning blue will be the last thing you see
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>