Microsoft might be working on a virtual reality mat to, at least in part, keep you from getting clotheslined by your coffee table yet again while ostensibly blinded by a VR headset. The company calls it a “virtual reality floor mat activity region” in the patent application it filed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week.
Tagged With kinect
It's been a rough life for the Xbox One's least appreciated accessory. At launch, people weren't happy that the Kinect was the reason why the Xbox One cost more than the PS4, despite its innovative motion-sensing abilities and handy built-in mic. That prompted Microsoft to quickly regroup and put out an Xbox One config that came without a Kinect, which in hindsight was the beginning of the end.
Microsoft has killed off the Kinect seven years after the company first introduced the Xbox accessory that paved the way for 3D-tracking and virtual-assistant technologies that will soon be ubiquitous. But its groundbreaking approach to depth-sensing will live on through several products, including the iPhone X.
Video: New Zealand electronica artist Devin Abrams, under his solo project Pacific Heights, has just released a music video for his newest single Buried By The Burden. The video wasn't actually filmed with any cameras, though -- instead, the entire environment was depth-captured with an industrial laser scanner, while the song's vocalist Louis Baker's likeness was recorded in 3D space with an Xbox Kinect. The effect is really trippy, but it's also eerily beautiful at the same time.
The simple ability to stand, walk and get up and down stairs can be lost in a stroke, but -- especially in older people -- frailty, weakness, a fall or a period of illness can be enough to do the same thing. Rehabilitation hospitals often admit people who have lost their ability to move around safely for intensive training of their strength, balance and mobility.
Unfortunately, limited staff mean that this retraining is often much less intensive than it could be. A group of Australian researchers have studied a novel way to increase the amount of rehabilitation received by such patients.
We're just faceless shapes made of dots and lines and nodes to a computer. And that's kind of awesome. This experimental project by Maria Takeuchi uses Microsoft Kinect to capture the motion data of a dancer and then rebuilds those movements into a stunning dancing body made of dots and lines and nodes.
The best part of grocery shopping isn't finding some exotic new flavour of yoghurt or the free samples, it's tooling around the store like a rally car driver with your shopping cart. So why have researchers developed an autonomous human-tracking cart that follows you around the store? Seems like time better spent making checkout lanes less terrible.
When the Lumia 1020 launched last summer with its bulbous 41-megapixel camera, it was a weird looking smartphone that found favour with the photography-inclined. It's been 15 months since the 1020 was released, and we haven't seen much physical evidence that Microsoft was planning a follow-up -- until now.
It may have started out as a way to let players physically interact with their games, but the Xbox 360's Kinect sensor has since developed a life of its own. Its clever combination of cameras and sensors have been embraced by hackers and researchers who've used it in countless project, including Microsoft's own research division who've now found a way to use only the Kinect to perfectly track and mimic a highly-articulated human hand.
Not long ago, Microsoft took the Kinect out of some of its Xbox One bundles, dropping the price of the console to $499 (in Australia) and giving devs extra power to play with. If you got one of those and want to add a Kinect later, you'll be able to in October for $169.95 (Australian RRP).
With the magic of virtual reality, it's easier than ever to find out what it would be like to see out of someone else's eyes, but for the full effect you have to mirror your movements. What if you could actually control the other person though? It's actually already possible. Hello, Avatar.
Oculus VR is now owned by Facebook, but that won't keep them from slurping up some companies of their own. Most recently, Oculus VR has agreed to snap up the Carbon Design Group, the designers behind the wonderful Xbox 360 controller and the original Kinect. Someday soon, it might not look quite so silly.