Microsoft reportedly working on Kinect-like features for Windows Phone handsets


According to a new report, Microsoft is working on Kinect-like features for Windows Phone devices, expected to debut by the end of the year. The feature is expected to launch with the alleged Nokia McLaren, revealed by the notorious @evleaks a few days back. Nokia McLaren is expected to be a flagship device, which will see the light of the day by the end of 2014.

The alleged device will hit the retail shelves of the major US carriers, giving users the ability to control apps and games with hand gestures — you don’t have to touch your screen to use the app or play the game. The Verge revealed, citing people familiar with the plans, that it is internally known as 3D Touch or Leap Motion, a technology Nokia is working on from the past few years. They also mentioned it could be the successor of the camera-centric Lumia 1020, but with further improvement in its camera.

How does the 3D Touch work? Well, that’s a good question. The purported Nokia McLaren will come with a bunch of sensors which will make 3D Touch possible. Some features or should I say gestures were also revealed by the folks at The Verge, not just controlling apps and games. Moving the phone to your ear will answer the incoming call, while putting it on the table will activate the speaker, or putting the phone in your pocket will simply end the call.

Additionally, 3D Touch supported phones will also come with other sensors which will allow users to dismiss notifications by waving a hand on the screen, and more. Interestingly, the Redmond-based company is also working on detecting the way we hold our handset, allowing a 3D Touch handset to ignore the screen orientations, for example, when you’re lying on your bed. 

Previously, we heard that such features will be launched with Goldfinger, which was rumored to launch next year. It still exists, and is being used as an engineering device. “While Microsoft had originally planned to debut its 3D Touch features with Windows Phone 8.1 and a Nokia “Goldfinger” handset, we understand that the work has been pushed to an additional update planned for later this year. Goldfinger still exists, but it’s simply being used as an engineering device to prepare developers for the upcoming changes and the McLaren launch,” says Tom Warren of The Verge.

It will be interesting to see what Microsoft has planned for the purported Nokia McLaren, which is said to launch by the end of the year. It might be a little to early to talk about it, but as the time approaches, we’re hoping to hear more about it. Looks interesting, right?

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