We’ve been big proponents of the Xbox Kinect hardware, constantly insisting that the hardware’s best days are still ahead, and that the hardware itself is currently under utilized. Microsoft may tend to agree with that sentiment, if the latest reports about Kinect 2 are true. According to The Daily, the Xbox Kinect sensor may very well be integrated with next-generation HDTVs and perhaps 3D TVs, including those from Vizio and Sony.
Yes, Sony. As in, “manufacturer of the Xbox-competiting PS3.”
Integrating the Xbox Kinect into a 3D TV or HDTV would make sense if Microsoft can pull it off, but it would require a serious reconfiguring of the hardware in light of the trend of TVs getting increasingly thin. Still, The Daily implies that the move is not only feasible but in the works, saying
A Kinect-enabled TV would most likely network with local PCs running the next version of Windows and also allow for gesture-based TV control (think: waving your arm to turn the set off). It’s also possible the system would be able to recognize individual people and automatically resume programming where it was left off.
So there it is…a super-smart Smart TV to compete directly with Google TV and the like. Yet even if the Kinect doesn’t end up integrated with TVs — Microsoft and other hardware manufacturers have had plenty of misfires before — it sounds as though the next-generation Kinect is still very much in the works.
According to an article on Eurogamer, “not only will Microsoft’s device be able to [read lips], … Kinect 2 will be so powerful that it’ll be able to detect your emotional state by tracking the pitch and volume of your voice as well as your facial characteristics.”
In other words, even as Microsoft is hoping the holiday shopping season does good by the Xbox 360, there’s plenty of buzz to keep gamers talking well into 2012, well after all the holiday gifts have been opened and enjoyed.