Microsoft isn't wasting any time just as we mentioned earlier when E3 first started. They have announced all sorts of new things for Xbox Live. One thing to note is the UI changes, from the looks of things they are streamlining everything. With Xbox Live looking closer and closer to Windows Phone 7, and the upcoming Windows 8.
Microsoft is rumored to be readying its Project Orapa for an E3 2011 unveil next week, making official the new home entertainment system blending Mediaroom IPTV with Xbox LIVE. VP Frank Shaw has sewn the speculation seeds this week: "put simply," the exec suggests, "Xbox = entertainment and is core to our entertainment strategy" before going on to recap on the streaming content, Natural User Interface technology and multimedia baked into the Xbox platform as it stands. "We are turning up the heat on a whole new era of home entertainment" Shaw concludes.
Xbox 360 was the number one selling video game console in April, according to NPD Group, and it also ranks as the top selling console for 10 out of the last 11 months. The Xbox 360 has had half of the top ranking games for April of this year, and consumers have spent $310 million on Xbox 360 hardware, software and accessories in April alone. Pretty impressive. See more details after the cut.
The great Kinect hacks continue, and next up is a way to bypass Microsoft's limitations on micro-movement recognition by throwing another controller into the mixture: namely an iPhone. Project iKinect is a PC-based co-play system which allows for more complex gameplay, using the Kinect motion sensor to track general movement and the iPhone's various sensors and touchscreen for micro-movement recognition.
Clever hackers put together an interactive piece of art that is reminiscent of the old Flying Toasters screensaver. The artists call it a kitschy "absurdist reconstruction of the classic screensaver Flying Toasters." Become one with the winged toaster, flap your arms to flap the wings and tilt to flip your tiny silver box to roll away from danger. First off, this looks really fun. Secondly, they're already talking about turning it into a game. This is an early look into something that's going to be super fun.
As of March 2011, Xbox 360 is and remains the number one selling console in the entirety of the United States. This is judged based on console and software sales as well as continued consumer demand for the accessory known as Kinect, aka the fastest selling consumer electronics device in 60 days in recorded history. Sounds pretty impressive, yes? Let's go through a few highlights that'll continue to make your brain melt all over the floor.
I really like remote controlled cars, they are lots of fun. I know a lot of other geeks do too. I particularly like it when other people take a RC car and hack them to use controls they were never meant to have. A new RC car control hack has surfaced that uses one of two control methods.
Right now, we're living in a world where we look at more computer generated imagery than anything else. Doctors are reaching a critical point where the amount of medical imagery generated during something like a routine CT scan is daunting to navigate. Kenju Suzuki at the University of Chicago says, "As medical imaging has advanced, so many images are produced that there is a kind of information overload. The workload has grown a lot." Antonio Criminisi leads a group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, U.K. working on a system that will make it easier for doctors to work with databases of medical imagery. The system indexes the images generated during the scans. It automatically recognizes organs, and they are working to train the system to detect certain kinds of brain tumors.
Some graduate students at Universität Konstanz in Germany put together a project based on Microsoft's popular Kinect system. Instead of using the system as a gaming controller, they take the Infrared camera's visual data from a helmet mounted Kinect and uses it to relay audio instructions through a wireless headset. This could possibly give the blind warnings about obstructions and directions at a larger distance than the current white cane and/or seeing eye dog system in popular use today. They call it the NAVI, Navigational Aids for the Visually Impaired.
Geeks are hacking the Kinect for all sorts of things all around the world. I like the Kinect most when it's used to control a robot, but there are all sorts of other cool things that the Kinect can do. One of the latest hacks comes from a geek known as Nitrogen.