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Microsoft's Kinect SDK Can Track and Listen 85

mikejuk writes "Microsoft has given more information on the Kinect SDK to be released later in the year. It will include the body tracking software that is used by the Xbox version of the Kinect, allowing it to track up to two people at the same time and stay locked on to them even if they leave and re-enter the frame. In addition, they promise to allow the microphone array to be used with the PC's speech recognition API. So, not only will future Kinect projects be able to track you — they can listen to what you say."
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Microsoft's Kinect SDK Can Track and Listen

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  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @02:06PM (#35810448)

    So, not only will future Kinect projects be able to track you ...

    Your computer/console can respond to your gesture based commands.

    ... they can listen to what you say.

    Your computer/console can respond to your verbal commands.

    • by smelch ( 1988698 )
      Honestly is that how people read the summary? I didn't even begin to think the summary was being paranoid or anti-microsoft. I thought it was just using descriptions for exactly what it does.
      • Honestly is that how people read the summary? I didn't even begin to think the summary was being paranoid or anti-microsoft. I thought it was just using descriptions for exactly what it does.

        That's how the tin foil hat crowd will read it. I was helping them to see a different interpretation. :-)

        • That's how the tin foil hat crowd will read it.

          I really doubt that. Most likely people just don't read carefully and are used to Slashdot's misleading headlines.

      • Honestly is that how people read the summary? I didn't even begin to think the summary was being paranoid or anti-microsoft. I thought it was just using descriptions for exactly what it does.

        The articles that get the most responses (and, consequently, ad-serves) are the ones that get the pitchforks a'wavin.

      • by the way, did you check this out yet?:

        "U.S. scientists on Tuesday unveiled the world's first computerized human brain map, an online public resource developed to accelerate understanding of how the human brain works and in hopes to tackle neurological diseases like Alzeimer's and Parkinson's. Funded by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, the 55-million-U.S. dollar project, named the Allen Human Brain Atlas, identifies 1,000 anatomical sites in the human brain, backed by more than 100 million data point

    • Police Officer: "Are you classified as human?"
      Kinect Owner: "Negative, I am a meat popsicle."

    • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @02:24PM (#35810634)
      I'm not going to worry about the tinfoil hat aspects of it. Microsoft's record of listening to anyone is pretty dismal.
    • I dont think anybody can understand the severity of this issue!!!
      This is like having a government police inside doors 24/7!

      Then it comes the Thought Police - which is technically more easy to do then one can imagine! Human brain functions between 6 and 16Hz if im not mistaken!
      That console can obviously have an upgrade and have your thoughts scanned! So if you live in the US and have bad thoughts you can expect that your gonna go to jail in the next 5 years! This is the complete loosing of Freedom incrementa

  • Luckily.... (Score:4, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @02:09PM (#35810486) Journal
    Microsoft doesn't have an advertising arm [], nor is it aggressively moving into IPTV services []. Their software platforms also have an excellent record of never being compromised, and the Kinect makes it trivially evident when its mics and/or camera are active.

    Thus, there is no possible way in which this could be sinister. I was worried there for a minute...
  • In Soviet Russia game box tracks YOU!

    oh, wait, in Capitalist USA game box tracks you, too...

  • by mangu ( 126918 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @02:14PM (#35810534)

    Speech recognition would be a great feature if they could put it in phones. You know how it is when you are texting, you have to use both hands and keep your eyes on the phone.

    Someone should invent a phone that you can just talk to.

    • by afidel ( 530433 )
      Uh, any Android phone can do that, and the recognition rate is pretty good. I use it for quick answers to my boss on a semi-regular basis.
      • I have to push a button on my android phone. Is there one you can just speak to without having to touch it?
        • by afidel ( 530433 )
          No AFAIK unless you can control it through something like a car stereo, my dad can make his phone dial by voice in his GMC Terrain.
        • The android app VLingo has a mode you can turn on for use in the car or other situations where you can't use your hands. It tends to eat battery so you definitely want to have the phone plugged in when you use it.

        • by chammy ( 1096007 )
          Try Vlingo. You can set it up to listen for a key phrase like "hey vlingo!" and it will start listening for commands. It's really handy when you're driving. Note that your phone is definitely not idling while its processing audio input and waiting for a key phrase.
    • android. nuff said.

    • The straight man wins again!
  • by kiehlster ( 844523 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @02:16PM (#35810568) Homepage
    I haven't inspected the tech myself, but If that's a stereo microphone (that is, a left and a right microphone), some added audio analysis would allow you to track who said what at the same time. Simultaneous audio commands, anyone? That'd be some nifty stuff.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's an array of I think five, for that very reason. Again, nothing is new here. This is what it was designed to do. This "news item" is just crazy tinfoil hat stuff.
      • No, the news item is that Microsoft isn't just putting motion tracking capabilities into the SDK, but they are also putting in the microphone capabilities. Jeez, you guys are reading way too much into this.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I believe that one of the advertised features of the Kinect is that it can tell which player is issuing spoken commands.

    • i think it has a bit more than two mics.

    • it has 4 mics, and apparently they do a whole lot of audio processing formerly considered impossible, like distinguishing multiple voices at a distance & noise-cancelling multiple sources. for example, they can do voice recognition on two different players while ignoring the sound coming from the TV, stereo, vacuum cleaner, etc...

  • The device which I installed in my living room to track my movement and record what I say in order to play games and video going to track my movement and record what I say! M$ does it again! When will the tyranny stop? Oh the humanity!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I mean you guys HAVE read 1984, haven't you?

    • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 )

      Now we can see you. Stand out in the middle of the room. Stand back to back. Clasp your hands behind your heads. Do not touch one another. The house is surrounded. You may as well say good-bye.

      And by the way, while we are on the subject, "Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head"!

  • by cstacy ( 534252 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @02:21PM (#35810614)

    Open the pod bay doors, Hal.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @02:34PM (#35810724)

      Hi, I'm HAL1000, the Kinect Guide. Are you having trouble opening the pod bay doors? First, try accessing the Kinect Guide Menu by assuming the pause position, where your left hand is 45 degrees out from your body and your right hand is against your body. Next, hover your hand over the "Kinect Tuner" button. Follow the instructions, as we make you walk around the room and do silly poses for no good reason. Then repeat the words on screen, out loud, no matter how ridiculous or incriminating they might sound, as these phrases were chosen at random. Finally, find that cue card that came with one of your games. We didn't actually write what it was ON the cue card, but we figured you'd know what it was and that you wouldn't toss it out as completely useless.

      Now, try the Open the "pod bay doors" gesture, as indicated on the screen. Place both hands in front of you, and seperate them till your arms are 90 degrees out from your body.

      Still not working? Well, you can turn on your controller and press x...

      just a moment...
      just a moment...

      I'm detecting large amounts of profanities and I believe you said "Why didn't you tell me that first?". Is that correct?

  • You track your Kinect.
  • I'm afraid I can't do that Dave.
  • In Soviet Russia the XBox plays with you.
  • How many super hotties who might not be too smart play XBox in the nude when they are home alone?
  • by pcardno ( 450934 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @03:37PM (#35811306) Homepage

    Hackers Hack Kinect And Can Program It: Amazing Scenes!
    Microsoft Give You Access To Kinect To Program It: Privacy Fears Abound!!!!

    Why on earth is this written as a negative story rather a positive story about the capabilities that people will be able to explore?

  • ...but can it stop and collaborate?
  • What a stretch to try to spin SDK functionality in a negative light. Chip on shoulder much mikejuk?

  • will be installed in the MS terminator I hope it gets a BSOD before the killing starts.

  • How long until this SDK and a Kinect get turned into missile guidance or a AEGIS like control for a chain gun?

  • The throwing of chairs by sweat-stained CEO's?
  • ...who read this and started looking around and measuring their living room, trying to decide how to move everything around to get a decent layout, so I can use this to get a whole Minority Report interface going?

Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax.