RIP mice and keyboards: Kinect for PCs incoming
And gaming gear gets up close and personal
Microsoft’s XBox Kinect is getting in your face in 2012 with a "near mode" for close-up interaction – and is getting hardware-ready for Windows PCs.
The Kinect's near mode will come into play following a firmware update next year that will allow the depth camera to see objects at a distance of 50cm accurately and with what Microsoft has called “graceful degradation".
The change will massively narrow the current living-room sized operational range and “enable a whole new class of ‘close-up’ applications”, Microsoft said here.
Near mode has been one of the most requested features from developers and companies participating in the Kinect for Windows pilot program, as well as among those manning the Kinect forums, said Microsoft Kinect for Windows general manager Craig Eisler.
Also, according to Microsoft, the sensor will be tuned to work better with PCs.
"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," Eisler said.
"Coupled with the numerous upgrades and improvements our team is making to the Software Development Kit (SDK) and runtime, the new hardware delivers features and functionality that Windows developers and Microsoft customers have been asking for."
Among other changes in Kinect 2012 are a shortened USB cable for reliability on a broader range of computers and a small dongle to make it literally "fit in" with other USB peripherals.
Microsoft’s BizSpark business incubation and start-up program, meanwhile, has been dragooned to the Kinect cause. The BizSpark Kinect Accelerator will select 10 tech-oriented companies using Kinect on Windows or Xbox360 for a $20,000 award each. Submissions for Kinect Accelerator are open until 25 January, 2012. ®
Actually this fits perfectly with current trends in education. What is the need for a keyboard when the up and coming generation can't read or write.
Funny how we keep replacing accurate fast input devices with slower "more intuitive" devices.
Will it work with a Linux PC ?
Solving "problems" again eh?
They saw the start menu piling up on many home computers and thus found the ultimate solution: getting rid of the start menu entirely. Problem solved!
But now they saw several people complaining about having to drag the new menu screen back and forth. Thus came the next ultimate solution: get rid of all the input devices, no more need for scrolling with the mouse anymore. Problem solved!
Could be good news; when the Windows 8 sales become disappointing maybe they'll find a new ultimate solution: getting rid of Windows 8 :-) Problem solved!
Here we go again
Or not actually.
Kinect to replace keyboards and mice huh?
I'll get ready to be massively underwhelmed then. again..
Can I do that? Can I get ready to be underwhelmed? Would that work?
Oh yes, I can. I remember now, I dumbed down my expectations for the original Kinect and was still massively underwhelmed.
So... god knows how bad this is going to be.