Why Hasn't Kinect Launched Voice Controls For Australia Yet?

Back when Kinect launched in Australia, it was missing one very important feature in Australia - voice controls. Adam Pollington, Xbox Category Manager from Microsoft told us last November that it would be available by early Feb/late March, and was delayed due to the Aussie accent. Mark over at Kotaku has discovered that there seems to be something else causing the delay.

Mark managed to speak to someone who was involved in the actual trialling of the voice control software for Kinect. The thing is, this person was part of the trial that started back in May 2010, which was conducted by a company called Appen. When Mark contacted Appen about the trial, they told him that the testing had finished back in November last year - or right about the same time the Kinect launched.

Given the trial finished in November, you can give Microsoft some leeway in being able to crunch the data, condense it into a firmware update and roll it out to customers. But it's been six whole months.

What gives Microsoft? Why won't you release a feature that should have launched six months ago?


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    Well half the problem is that Australian "English" isn't actually English. Sure the words are spelled the same, but for sure there aren't many that speak them as they were intended.

      You think Australians bastardise the English language the amount of English people I know that say "NothinK"...
      Finally I have a US account on my console and Kinect works fine with voice if I log in as it. So I don't know why it wont work.

        It's nuffink, not nothink!

          what exactly is English english? the english have screwed it over the most

    To be fair, the Tomtom Via's voice control system is absolute balls, despite being an otherwise capable piece of kit. Sure it's taken awhile, but I would prefer them to get it right

    because Aussie accents have rather nore nose than most others?

    Well after moving to America (from Australia) and getting a Kinect with Voice controls I have to say I haven't had any issues with it understanding me. I am surprised and how little functionality is there to utilise though.

    @lulz, the Kinect has a fixed set of commands that you can issue. You first say "Kinect" and a menu comes up at the bottom of the screen listing the commands you can say. There is nothing I've found so far outside of these pre-defined commands. There is no attempt to translate anything that is outside these commands.

    My bad you say "XBox" not "Kinect" :)

    Dont forget they only have to get a small amount of words to work like "xbox", "music", etc.
    It does not have to understand our complete language.
    There are plenty of examples of IVR's (machines that answer phones) that have little to no problems understanding certain terms. Honestly I think it is just a lack of interest from MS, dont even get me started on WP7 features.

    A good Oz perspective http://www.sheeds.com.au/blog/?p=852
    And another with a world perspective http://andrewtechhelp.com/andrews-tech-opinions/115-windows-phone-7-feature-availability-matrix

    Yanks just don't understand Aussies, I think!
    Did you know that an Australian woman's voice is used in many international GPS units?

    Thanks for the shout-out over at my Windows Phone 7 Aussie blog. I also just wrote an editorial on Windows Phone in Australia further to this - and expanded on the need for MS to push their Australian business harder on promotion, support and engagement for Australian customers (same goes for Kinect).

    Who cares, I am one of the people who bought a Kinect and helped it go into the Guiness Book of records as the fastest selling of all time, only to discover that games manufacturers aren't supporting it. There is only one hald decent looking game slated for release at some point in the future.

      Welcome to the world of Playstation Eye.

    It's been delayed because the programmer still can't say Aluminium right.

      I hate to say it Franz, I actually looked this up as we use the names of elements for our release cycle and there is actually 2 spellings for Aluminium! Both are considered accepted as well.

    Its been delayed because micro$oft dont really give a fuck about Australians. With 22 Million and the 5% that have Kinect who would!

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