The next-generation Kinect will have a higher resolution that can detect emotional states.
Microsoft's motion-detecting peripheral has pushed technology forward with multiple robotic applications, but that doesn't mean the team will rest on its laurels. The amount of data collected by the Kinect sensor has been limited by the USB interface, but the new version will get over that hump through creative use of data manipulation. According to an inside development source at Microsoft, the new version will also have the ability to read the lips of gamers to detect commands without vocalizing, while also being able to determine emotional states and which direction players are facing. The new Kinect will come in two packages, one cheaply bundled with the Xbox 360 and another "fully-featured" machine for core gamers.
The breakthrough solution for the data transference problem was described as phenomenal. The depth sensor had hard limit of 30 frames per second with only a 320x240 resolution because the USB cable could only use 15MB per second. The new Kinect has no such limits. "It can be cabled straight through on any number of technologies that just take phenomenally high res data straight to the main processor and straight to the main RAM and ask, 'What do you want to do with it?'" the source told Eurogamer.
The rumors of Kinect 2 seem to dovetail with the recent Kinect for PC announcement and rumors regarding a new console from Microsoft. Some prognosticators have said we'll see such a next-generation machine for the 2012 holiday season - most likely with Kinect integration - while others point to 2013. In any case, we will probably learn more about the next Microsoft console at E3 in June 2012.