Kinect for Xbox One
Kinect for Xbox One
The Kinect sensor for Xbox One was upgraded in comparison to its predecessor for Xbox 360; this second-generation model was first distributed with all retail Xbox One bundles until June 2014, when Microsoft began to offer bundles excluding it. A standalone version of Kinect for Xbox One was released in September 2014.
As with the original Kinect, Kinect for Xbox One is a natural user interface device that can be utilized by the console's user interface and games, providing a motion controller system that uses an infrared array to detect the presence and motions of players, a voice recognition system, and a microphone and video camera that can be used to record and stream video footage. The new Kinect features improved motion tracking and voice recognition functionality over its predecessor, including a wider field of view, the addition of a high definition camera, the ability to track up to six bodies at once, and the ability to track a player's heart rate amongst other features.
Kinect on Xbox One features a number of changes in comparison to the first-generation, Xbox 360 version. The physical design of the new Kinect is aligned with that of the Xbox One console itself, with a more rectangular appearance, a two-toned matte-grey/glossy black color scheme, diagonal vents, and a white status light. The new Kinect no longer contains a motor for automatic angle adjustment, and must be adjusted manually.
As with the original Kinect, the sensor uses infrared to read its environment, but has greater accuracy over its predecessor, processing 2 gigabits of data per second. The device features a 512x424 pixel time-of-flight camera; the new sensor has an increased field of view, reducing the amount of distance needed between the player and the sensor needed for optimal Kinect performance. Microsoft recommended a distance of 4 feet 6 inches (1.37 m), in comparison to the 8 feet (2.4 m) minimum of Kinect for Xbox 360. The new Kinect also includes a 1080p resolution video camera that can be used for video recording and chat, in comparison to the VGA resolution of the Xbox 360 version. It can track up to 6 skeletons at once, read a player's heart rate, track gestures performed with an Xbox One Controller, and scan QR codes to redeem Xbox gift cards. Kinect uses a four-microphone array that enables more extensive voice command support across the Xbox One system software than the Xbox 360 version. When the Xbox One console is in sleep mode, Kinect's microphone can remain active, so that it can wake the console back up using a voice command.
Kinect was included with all retail Xbox One SKUs until June 2014, when Microsoft began to offer bundles that do not contain Kinect. Microsoft stated the decision to offer Xbox One bundles without Kinect was to "[offer] a choice to people that would allow people to buy an Xbox One and then ramp up to Kinect when they can afford to", while also allowing games to use processing power that was previously reserved for Kinect.
Kinect for Windows
A Windows-compatible version of the new Kinect, Kinect for Windows v2, was released on July 15, 2014 alongside the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0. It is intended for those developing Kinect-enabled software for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, and is optimized to operate at a closer range than the Xbox One version. Microsoft released an adapter in October 2014 that allows the Xbox One version of Kinect to connect to a PC over USB 3.0; as such, the separate Kinect for Windows v2 product was discontinued in April 2015.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) signed up for the Kinect for Windows Developer program in November 2013 to use the new Kinect to manipulate a robotic arm in combination with an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, creating "the most immersive interface" the unit had built to date.
The Xbox One Kinect received positive reviews. In its Xbox One review, Engadget praised Xbox One's Kinect functionality, such as face recognition login and improved motion tracking, but that whilst "magical", "every false positive or unrecognized [voice] command had us reaching for the controller." Writing for Time.com, Matt Peckham described the device as being "chunky" in appearance, but that the facial recognition login feature was "creepy but equally sci-fi-future cool", and that the new voice recognition system was a "powerful, addictive way to navigate the console, and save for a few exceptions that seem to be smoothing out with use". However, its accuracy was found to be affected by background noise, and Peckham further noted that "sometimes you'll say something the console ought to semantically understand, like 'Xbox, go to Forza 5,' when what it's looking for is the full title, 'Go to Forza Motorsport 5.'"
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