Motion Control

The irony: Microsoft makes depth-tracking phone while ignoring Kinect

The irony: Microsoft makes depth-tracking phone while ignoring Kinect

Microsoft may have conspicuously ignored Kinect in its Gamescon event today, going as far as to leave the motion sensor out of all three of its new Xbox One bundles, but that doesn't mean the rest of the company is giving up on clever camera tech. Microsoft Research has been working on turning a regular smartphone into a depth-camera, delivering Kinect and Google Project Tango style scanning and tracking but with a fraction of the complexity.

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Touch+ hands-on: Someone finally gets gesture control right

Touch+ hands-on: Someone finally gets gesture control right

Touchscreens work for tablets and phones, but getting your fingers involved with notebooks and PCs can be trickier, something Kickstarter success Ractiv believes it has fixed with its Touch+ motion tracking sensor bar. Eschewing the vague waving of Leap Motion, Touch+ takes a top-down approach by creating a virtual multitouch layer right on top of the keyboard. I caught up with the team behind the sensor to find out more on the path from crowdsourcing to shipping a commercial product now.

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Microsoft SurroundWeb reworks IllumiRoom for immersive web

Microsoft SurroundWeb reworks IllumiRoom for immersive web

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.

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Kinect in focus: Xbox’s app chief talks Smart Homes & Cortana

Kinect in focus: Xbox’s app chief talks Smart Homes & Cortana

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.

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Myo Jedi-armbands hooked up to Oculus Rift, robots and more

Myo Jedi-armbands hooked up to Oculus Rift, robots and more

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.

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iRing hands-on: motion control for iOS

iRing hands-on: motion control for iOS

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.

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Kanye and Kinect: Yeezus tour utilization and live motion capture

Kanye and Kinect: Yeezus tour utilization and live motion capture

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.

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