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August 7, 2010

Microsoft Kinect patent comes to light

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by Darren Allan

The patent for the technology used in Microsoft’s Kinect motion control system has just been made public.

GoRumours reports that the core technology behind Kinect is not the fancy hardware – although obviously that’s important – but it’s actually a piece of software called PrimeSense.

Working in conjunction with the camera in the Kinect peripheral, this software takes the detected user movements and maps them to a skeletal model, which can then be translated to the on-screen character.

On top of this, there are also microphones within the Kinect device which facilitate voice control.

However, it’s how finely honed the software is which will really make – or break – the Kinect gaming experience. How well it works, we shall just have to see upon the system’s launch.

A recent Hong Kong demo didn’t go well, with players running a race freezing up for ten or so seconds. Although that could have had something to do with the busy on-stage environment and camera flashes going off. We’ll have to hope it performs better than this in the living room…

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