No Sign Language for Kinect Just Yet, Says Microsoft

No Sign Language for Kinect Just Yet, Says Microsoft

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Microsoft has been thinking about motion controls, cameras and sign language, but says just thinking about them is as far as it's gotten.

A patent filed by Microsoft suggested that Kinect might be able to recognize American Sign Language, among other forms of gestural text input. But today Microsoft has confirmed that the patent only represents an idea, and won't be a feature of Kinect when it launches later this year.

In a statement, Microsoft said that it had filed the patent in order to protect its intellectual property, and that it shouldn't be taken as a guarantee of an upcoming feature. "We are excited about the potential of Kinect and its potential to impact gaming and entertainment," the statement read. "Microsoft files lots of patent applications to protect our intellectual property, not all of which are brought to market right away. Kinect that is shipping this holiday will not support sign language."

But anonymous sources said to be close to Kinect's development process told Kotaku that it's not that Kinect doesn't recognize ASL, it's that it can't. The sources say that the resolution in the cameras was reduced to 320 x 240 in order to cut costs, which is too low to be able to detect something as small as a finger. This is impossible to verify however, and would also mean that pretty much every product listing for Kinect - including the one on Microsoft's own store - is wrong.

As Microsoft said in its statement, not every patent necessarily represents a commercial product. What seems most likely is that Microsoft is staking its claim to the sign language idea before someone else does. It's certainly possible that it's a feature that was cut, but as the first anyone seems to have heard of it was this week, it's equally possible that it was never planned to be ready for Kinect's launch.

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Well i cant see how this would sell any games so theres no reason for it to be in a gaming console. Still, it is a nice way to try and expand sign language communication capabilities. But im calling smart move on microsofts part for leaving this out from an economic standpoint.

LOL another fail for Kinect.

I can't see how 320 x 240 can possibly be correct. Even a cursory look at the video chat dismisses that possibility. I'm calling BS on that.

So, American Sign Language is just a thought, one has to wonder if they've even thought about English Sign Language. I guess it's that time again to punish non-Americans!

Well, if they can integrate it, would be really, really cool! But...as it says, its a pipedream right now..

VulakAerr:
I can't see how 320 x 240 can possibly be correct. Even a cursory look at the video chat dismisses that possibility. I'm calling BS on that.

That could have been a prototype model or pre-reduction to cut costs model before the final go ahead for mass production,but either way Mircosoft either made a mistake about the power of the camera or hasn't changed it's info saying it has.

Remember folks, Microsoft is not just a gaming company. So it's possible that they may one day develop a computer or game interface that can read sign language and translate it.

They appear to have the base for the technology, so good for them trying to protect it.

And another case of humanity being denied a technological advance because of the fucked up copyright system.

Monshroud:
Remember folks, Microsoft is not just a gaming company. So it's possible that they may one day develop a computer or game interface that can read sign language and translate it.

They appear to have the base for the technology, so good for them trying to protect it.

It's more likely that they'll preemptively establish patents and then steal the technology when some small developer does it.

Lucane:

VulakAerr:
I can't see how 320 x 240 can possibly be correct. Even a cursory look at the video chat dismisses that possibility. I'm calling BS on that.

That could have been a prototype model or pre-reduction to cut costs model before the final go ahead for mass production,but either way Mircosoft either made a mistake about the power of the camera or hasn't changed it's info saying it has.

Not a chance. They wouldn't advertise the feature on stage at E3 and then cut it to 320 x 240. It wouldn't be usable. Especially when the games are meant to take screenshots and upload them to Facebook. Screenshots at 320 x 240? Get out of here.

Also, how hard are 640 x 480 cameras to come by? They're a dime a dozen. If they needed to save money, they wouldn't find the savings they needed on decreasing the camera resolution. I call even firmer bullshit. Like... bullshit after a hardening pill. You're very welcome for that image.

This would have been fairly cool. I'm not losing any sleep over it, but I'd imagine it'd be an alternative input for deaf people who couldn't properly speak for voice recognition.

 

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