Microsoft has given its IllumiRoom concept a makeover, with the immersive projected gaming experience evolving to deliver interactive web content that fills the living room and engages with Xbox One, Windows Phone, and Windows. Dubbed Microsoft SurroundWeb, the concept relies on the same approach of using projectors to cast digital graphics onto the surfaces of real-world objects, like the wall surrounding a TV or the coffee table in front of it, which then react to the user within that space.
When you have a product like Kinect, so closely associated with gaming, how do you convince everybody else that they should be installing a motion-tracking camera in the home? Microsoft is looking to smart home technology and health, among other things, to do just that with Kinect for Windows v2, though a stealthy spread through Cortana and smartphones may be just as vital. We caught up with Microsoft’s Michael Mott, general manager of Xbox applications and developer relations, to find out how virtual assistants and home automation could make Kinect-tech the next must-have.
Motion-tracking startup Thalmic Labs has been showing off what its early developers can do with a muscle-reading Myo armband and a little imagination, with the new peripheral already integrated with Oculus Rift, capable of remotely controlling mean-looking robots, and more. The company isn't planning to ship broadly until midway through this year, but its Myo Alpha Developers program is underway, and already the ideas are proving diverse.
The folks at IK Multimedia have created a new accessory for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that brings motion control to iOS. While you’re not going to just be able to jump in and have motion control abilities with this set of two rings for every single app and the entirety of iOS for start to finish - at least not at first - you will be able to work with some rather interesting sound-system software and a simple Pong game right out of the box.
If wearables is one of the biggest fads at CES 2014, PrioVR’s video game controller setup must be the most all-inclusive. Working with sensors on the arms, wrists, torso, and head, along with a couple of Nintendo Wii Nunchucks - one for each hand - this setup from YEI Technology allows you to be fully immersed in the game you’re playing. First-person shooters, anyone?
For those of you lucky enough to have caught Kanye West’s Yeezus tour as it came down upon the earth over the past few months, you’ll have witnessed the world’s first live concert utilization of Microsoft’s Kinect. The piece of the concert in question here was when West sang Black Skinhead, heading to the front of his architectural wonder to a piece of the stage that bounced. Up in front of this piece of the stage was a Kinect.
Apple has reportedly acquired PrimeSense, the motion-tracking company responsible for the technology in the original Xbox 360 Kinect, in a deal said to be worth around $345m. Whispers of the possible purchase, today reported by Israeli news site Calcalist, began back in July though were described as being in the early stages, and PrimeSense unofficially dismissed the speculation along with chatter rumors of a $280m price tag.
Motion-tracking technology that allows you to control your smartphone from several feet away, even when it's away on a nearby table, could show up in handsets as soon as next year. Elliptic Labs gesture control system uses tiny ultrasonic sensors to grant 180-degree awareness to phones and tablets, picking up hand movement from up to three feet away, whether it's in front of the device or off to the side. Now, the company says, it's finally almost time for the sensor tech to show up in production hardware.
Google has acquired Flutter, the gesture-recognition specialist dubbed "Kinect for OS X", with development of the hand tracking system headed in-house at the search giant. Flutter, which offers a Mac app that turns the webcam into a remote control system for navigating media players like iTunes, Spotify, and VLC, has cooked up its own machine-vision algorithms, which Google could use for future Chromebooks, Android devices, or even baked into the browser.