The Kinect skeletal tracking features gets an upgrade real soon. Version 1.5 to feature “10-joint” skeleton
The new version of Kinect features improved skeletal tracking and new languages
The Kinect for Windows blog has announced had previewed some of the features that will be coming in Kinect 1.5, including improved skeletal tracking and more language support.
The blog announce that there will be 19 new languages in the next version of Kinect, including Hong Kong and Brazil, in May and June.
The 1.5 release will be available at “the end of May.” Users will have ability to “record, playback and debug clips” of users interacting with applications (presumably games which take photos of the players, like Double Fine’s Happy Action Theater).
1.5 will also bring 10-joint “skeletal tracking” providing the ability to track the head, neck and arms of players when they’re sitting or standing. This will also work in default and near mode.
Along with the 19 languages that will supported by Kinect, four new language will have speed recognition support: French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. There will also be new language packs for the way “languages are spoken” for a range of English and non-English speaking languages.
Despite these improvements, Kinect hasn’t seen an ‘hardcore’ games released and have been critically acclaimed in the way a new Call of Duty title would be. Kinect hasn’t also been the most reliable piece of software, even being temperamental when navigating the dashboard.
Microsoft are saying that more features will be revealed in the future.
New Xbox, new Kinect>
The rumours leaked by by MS Nerd pointed towards a revised version of Kinect, so the blog post would suggest that Microsoft are gradually gearing up towards what could be their 2.0 version of Kinect.
With Kinect being a key part of Microsoft’s strategy as they continue to combat the Wii and PlayStation Move, a next-gen Xbox might see the Kinect integrated into the next Xbox versus a peripheral.
Also, with media apps that being used more than multiplayer video games then adding an improved Kinect experience makes sense for Microsoft. Despite Kinect breaking 10 million copies sold, it hasn’t reached all types of gamers and families. The Wii is cheap and very reliable in performance, so this is where the next Xbox needs to compete.