Kinect Can Read Your Facial Expressions Now

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]

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    I don't read this as 'reading facial expressions.' Here's the breakdown:
    "Face Tracking Capabilities" I read 'tracks faces'.
    "Makes it possible to fit a 3D mesh to users’ faces and track their facial features and head position" I read 'fits a 3D mesh to their face, lined up with eyes, nose, mouth and head position'
    " in real time" I read, 'with an imperceivably small delay'.

    I don't know where 'Can Read Your Facial Expressions' came from. Is there more to the release? I went to the site, and I think there's a more relevant rection to the reader base, which you could write up like this....

    Don't Get Up - Kinect Now Supports Your Lazy Ass

    KENDAL TODAY at 8:00am

    For so long, the lazy among us have cringed at the Kinect ads, featuring TV point-of-view scenes of enthused and energetic youths (at times with parents) leaping about the room as they play. I like my couch, and I don't want to have to get up in order to enjoy myself, and I suspect I'm not alone in this.

    Well, fear no more my sedentary brethren, for I bare good tidings from the Kingdom of Microsoft. The May 2012 Kinect SDK supports the development of games which ignore your lower body, meaning next season's smash hit will probably be a title which never demands you rise from your couch to play. From the Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows blog:

    "Provides the ability to track users’ upper body (10-joint) and overlook the lower body if not visible or relevant to application. In addition, enables the identification of user when sitting on a chair, couch or other inanimate object."

    Hells yeah! This means the only time you need to get up off the couch is to top up on snacks or lighten the load. Between the lines criticism since the release of the first platforms of the interactive type have been made about the full-body demand playing requires. There are times (most of the time) players just don't want to get up and dance around, or jog on the spot. I for one welcome full immersion GTA. Bring it. Seriously. Bring it, I don't want to get up.

    [Microsoft via Gizmodo]

    great for sport games, now when you tell a ref to get stuffed the game will react and red card your insolence

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