Taken down, but we’re still analyzing the Kinect glasses, WIP name “Project Fortaleza”, unveiled in the leaked Next-gen dossier
Of the many things Microsoft talked about in its leaked document (it’s real), the next-gen Xbox was one
This is the final part of a mini-series which is taking a look at the leaked and since-taken-down Xbox Durango document, which Microsoft basically confirmed as legit by saying it appreciates the excitement fans have in its next console. The final part of the document we’re covering today is Kinect Glasses, or Project Fortaleza.
Fortaleza means fortress in Portuguese, which seems totally unrelated. Fortaleza is basically Microsoft’s version of Google’s Project Glass, which is a wearable pair of glasses that have a heads-up display with dynamic information. It’s strictly a prototype, but users can take photos of good quality from the headset.
The document says it will use Wi-Fi and 4G – we’ll have to see if Microsoft finds a way to charge users for cellular connections – that’s built around augmented reality like Project Glass. The device will apparently launch in 2014, which is likely going to be when Durango and Kinect 2.0 are out or coming out.
Questioning Practical Reality
The drawing shows people wearing glasses and figures from in-game appear in front of the user, like a hologram. There’s also a drawing of the glasses being used with an arcade machine, and it looks like the player is able to interact with the machine via the glasses. That doesn’t seem like something that will be backwards compatible, so I’m interested to see how Fortaleza integrates with current tech.
Project Glass was criticized for not being usable concurrently with other devices, because you’re dividing your attention between multiple processes and ultimately something will suffer (probably you, when you fall over). I’m not sure if people are going to use glasses when they’re out, because they’ll look stupid. I’m more interested to see how Microsoft does with the next version of Kinect, because the concept trailer where we saw a Jedi swinging a lightsaber around with 100% accuracy could be fulfilled with next-gen hardware. Star Wars Kinect was nothing that couldn’t have been done on a controller: it was just swinging a lightsaber a few times during an on-rails sequence.
Whatever Microsoft’s planning, E3 2013 is going to be very exciting. And very expensive.