How does XBox Kinect works?

xbox kinect
In my previous post What is XBox Kinect, I tried to put together simple explanation of what this new technology is. In this post, I will try to answer the question, How does XBox Kinect works?

As I mentioned in earlier post, Kinect is a sensor that recognizes motions and voice pattern changes around it with the help of cameras and microphones in it. Lets start with a simple example of playing Netflix movies on XBox. If you have XBox Kinect attached to your XBox 360 console, you can come into the room and say XBox Play and your movie starts playing or you can say XBox Pause and your movie pauses or you can say XBox Stop and your movie stops. So you can see how XBox Kinect reacts to voice commands. It works on some pre-defined commands that your XBox 360 console can act on. No, you can't say, XBox Clean my room. Well, may be in few years XBox Kinect will help you do that, till then you are stuck with picking up after you.

Now its move on to how XBox Kinect helps in playing games. If you have Nintendo Wii console, then you are very familiar with how movement of Wii controller do all the actions in the game. For example if you are playing Wii Sports, then moving of your arms with Wii controller in your hand, helps you perform actions like bowling, play tennis, play baseball and things like that. XBox Kinect is very much the same prinipal but the difference is that there is no controller. When you want to play Kinect game like Kinect Sprots, you will simply jump in front of Kinect device or sensor, it will recognize you as a player. And then you will perform the game actions like swinging your arms, kicking your feet etc. and Kinect will send the signals to your XBox Console and you are on roll and being next Wimbeldon champion. How does that sound?

Now I do not have to worry about kids having to forget about putting on strap for Wii controller and smashing windows or TV monitors etc. while trying to throw that perfect knuckle ball while playing Wii Sports. No, I have nothing against Wii. I like it. I was just trying to tell what this contoller free expereince could mean to you.

There are advantages to this whole controller free expereince. But there are some downsides to it as well. As I mentioned about voice recognition to control playing of movies. Well we all know power of remote controll in our hands. Now imagine, two siblings in same room watching movies with Kinect attached to XBox console. One wants to pause and other one wants to continue. Well, currently there is no locking mechanism to prevent Kinect from obeying voice commands based on certain person's voice. So the actions based on voice could be a little problem with whole bunch of kids and people in same room. Hopefully by the time XBox Kinect hits the stores, Microsoft will make some improvments and make the expereince more interesting.

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