Microsoft pushes more Kinect-like user interfaces

When Microsoft introduced the Kinect for Xbox 360, it got rid of handheld controllers for human gestures and spoken commands. Now, Microsoft wants Kinect-like user interfaces to not just be used for games, but for other products too.

As NetworkWorld reports, Microsoft Research “is working closely with Microsoft business units to develop new products” using the same natural user interface concept used by Kinect.

“In the months and years to come, a growing number of Microsoft products will recognize voices and gestures, read facial expressions and make computing easier, more intuitive and more productive,” Microsoft said. “..interfaces that are more intuitive, that are easier to use, and that adapt to human habits and wishes, rather than forcing humans to adapt to computers.”

Using the Kinect technology, Microsoft plans on imporving the display of 3D imagery. “By using a Kinect head tracker, the user’s relation to the display is tracked, and thereby, the prototype is able to steer that narrow beam to the user. The combination creates a 3-D image that is steered to the viewer without the need for glasses or holding your head in place.”

Microsoft is also working on a “Kinect-based virtual window,” which tracks a “user’s position relative to a 3-D display to create the illusion of looking through a window.”

Another interesting project Microsoft is working on is the ability to have face recognition in videos. “In the near future, a television or an Xbox will be able to recognize people in the living room, home video will be annotated automatically and become searchable, and TV watchers will be able to get information about an unfamiliar actor, athlete, or singer just by pointing to the person on the screen,”

Read more about the 17 Microsoft projects exhibited at TechFest

Read more about Natural User Interfaces

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