With a host of improvements rumoured for the next Kinect, it's a little surprising to see that there's still room for the current Kinect to get better: Microsoft has added face tracking capabilities to Kinect through a software update. Which means, Kinect will be able to read and react to your facial expressions.
Act surprised? Your avatar will reflect surprised. Smile? So will it. It's part of Microsoft's new SDK for Kinect which will let developers write Kinect apps for Windows. In Microsoft's Kinect for Windows blog, it says:
Face Tracking Capabilities
Makes it possible to fit a 3D mesh to users' faces and track their facial features and head position in real time using components from the Developer Toolkit. In addition, newly added joint orientation information for skeletons is ideal for avatar animation scenarios and simple pose detection.
The new SDK also adds improved skeletal tracking, speech recognition options and more. Continues to show how much more there is to Kinect than what Microsoft is limiting with the Xbox. [Microsoft via Business Insider]