Next-gen Kinect to read lips and sense moods?

29 Nov 2011

The next-generation Kinect could have the ability to read lips and detect how the player feels, according to reports.

Eurogamer reports that sources have said Microsoft plans to greatly improve motion sensing and voice recognition on the next Kinect hands-free gaming controller.

It could be able to read the pitch and volume of the player’s voices as well as their facial expressions to determine how they’re feeling.

These new abilities would be the result of a higher-resolution camera built into the Kinect 2 and improved networking hardware which can bypass the data limitations of the USB connection.

The current Kinect’s depth sensor is set at a 30 frames per second and a 320 x 480 resolution limit, because the USB connection is limited to 15 to 16MB/s to allow for other USB devices plugged into the Xbox 360.

However, Eurogamer’s unnamed source says the Kinect 2 can be cabled straight through on a number of technologies which can take “phenomenally high res data” directly to the main processor and main RAM, allowing for these improvements.

The next Kinect rumours follow hints that Microsoft is working on a next-generation Xbox, code named “The Loop.” It’s expected to have a modified Win9 core, a custom-designed ARM processor and dedicated cores focused on graphics, artificial intelligence, networking, encryption, sound and sensors. It could be released between 2013 and 2015.

Nintendo is planning to release the Wii U next year and Sony said its next PlayStation could arrive a little later than its competitors’ efforts.

Microsoft is currently working on a current generation Kinect for the Windows platform.