NEWS - Monday, December 20, 2010

Microsoft Working to Increase Kinect Accuracy

An anonymous source has informed Eurogamer that Microsoft is currently working to enhance the accuracy of the Kinect add-on for Xbox 360 through firmware updates.
Currently, the Kinect camera’s depth sensor operates at a resolution of 320x240 at 30 frames per second, although if that were to be upgraded to a resolution of 640x480, Eurogamer reports that it would be capable of detecting both fingers and hand rotation.

Earlier this year, it was believed that Kinect would be able to recognize sign language. That was later ruled out, with Microsoft saying, "Kinect that is shipping this holiday will not support sign language." Sources at the time suggested this was due to the lower-than-expected resolution of Kinect’s camera.

Now, Eurogamer’s source has said that Microsoft is working "very hard" on either a method of compression or switching which would increase the amount of data that can be sent to the 360 by Kinect. It’s mentioned that the amount of data Kinect sends is capped at around 15 or 16MB per second, despite the fact that the 360 is capable of receiving up to 35MB per second. This is due to the possibility of other USB devices being plugged into the system at the same time.

Microsoft has yet to comment on the situation, which should come as no surprise. At this point, particularly if it’s unsure that such a thing could be accomplished, Microsoft isn’t likely to suggest that it’s something we might see in the future. Still, it’s an intriguing prospect that Kinect could become more accurate as time goes on so that games could begin to incorporate the usage of things like individual fingers. It certainly wouldn’t be unheard of for motion controls to get better over time; Nintendo released the Wii MotionPlus to increase the accuracy of the Wii remote, and Sony has stated that it’s capable of improving the accuracy of PlayStation Move through firmware updates, should it be something that it feels is needed in the future.


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