hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Xbox One's Kinect: impressive control, instant access

5:00 AM on 11.08.2013 // Dale North
  @DaleNorth

Hands... er, voice-on with Xbox One

I had a chance to see exactly how Xbox One's interface works with the Kinect sensor in a demonstration last week. After seeing several examples and even trying it out for myself, I came away impressed at how well the voice commands work. 

From what I experienced, Kinect control over the UI, feature set, and in games is both reliable and powerful. I did not expect it to work as well as it does. 

Here are a few examples.

Easiest sign in ever:

Much has been said about the all-seeing Kinect sensor camera. I saw the benefits of its always-on status immediately in the demonstration as Microsoft's Jeff Henshaw was able to log into the Xbox One by just... well, being there. He pulled a cloth cover off of the Kinect sensor and the Xbox One immediately saw him and logged him in, changing the screen to reflect his settings, and populating the menu with his apps and data. He didn't have to say or do anything for this to happen. 

Everything you would need, from his most recently used apps to his friends list, were automatically listed up on his home screen. Henshaw's most recently played game, Forza Motorsport 5, was placed front and center for ease of access. In the pin area, all of his favorite apps, sites, and music were placed. 

A technology called beam forming lets Kinect triangulate the source of spoken commands. Whitten says that the beam narrows down to read a width of about five inches -- about the width of a mouth -- and this lets Kinect associate a command with a face and skeleton so that it 'knows' which person in the room spoke the command.

To demonstrate, Microsoft's Jose Pinero entered the mock living room. By simply saying "Xbox, show my stuff," the system switched the home screen from Marc's to Jose's, populating it with his favorites, pins, and more. 

Users can go to any Xbox One in the world and sign in to have their preferences come up this same way.

Getting into/out of the game:

Microsoft wants users to be able to get into their games as fast as possible. A demonstration had us jumping back into a stopped game of Forza Motorsport 5 from the home screen by simply calling out to the Xbox One. It loaded instantly, right where the user left off on last play. This is even more impressive when you consider that the user was logged out previously. 

Of course, not every game would load this quickly. They have it so that the last game you played sits in this hot state, ready to be loaded back up instantly. 

Getting out of a game is just as easy. While Forza 5 was open, we called out to the Xbox to switch to Internet Explorer, and in an instant the browser was loaded. We flipped through other apps to further test the systems reaction speed. Every other app -- from television watching to Skype to the music player -- loaded instantly upon voice request. No lag, no load times. 

This works because the Xbox One was designed to run apps and games in separate spaces, with each having its own CPU cores and memory space. Your last game will always load quickly for this reason. As for apps, the last few you've used will continue to be at the ready. 

Putting the Game DVR features to the test:

I played a bit of Forza 5, doing my best to keep clean lines to impress those watching. Getting to a point that I felt a bit proud of, I was able to call out "Xbox, record that" to have the system record what I was doing. From here, the system gave me the option to share this clip or edit it. 

We took the clip into the Upload Studio app. From there, trimming of the file, from 30 seconds to the last full five minutes, was possible. We pulled up a picture-in-picture effect preset and then filled the second box with taunting, using the Kinect camera. Other options let you add voice overs for walkthroughs, or add skins to your finished video. 

We saved the video, and it encoded very quickly. Being on a broadband connection, it also uploaded to the Xbox servers very quickly. 

The whole process -- capturing, editing, and uploading -- is very quick and simple.

Snap:

I think that the ability to "snap" apps to the right side of the screen while watching television or playing games will be popular with Xbox One owners. You're free to tell the system to snap just about any application to the side by simply telling it to do so vocally. You could snap an internet browser window to view a FAQ while playing an RPG, or the music player while playing a racing game. I like the idea of having Twitter snapped to the side while watching television so I can keep an eye on things. 

It really works:

No one likes the idea of having to continually yell at your game system to get it to do things, hoping it will understand your commands. So many have expressed similar concerns since the Xbox One's announcement.  

I'm glad to report that the Kinect sensor and all the tech powering it makes controlling the Xbox One seem really simple. This was an in-house demo that Microsoft conducted, but I did get to try it out for myself, so it wasn't like it was scripted or controlled. 

Everything we tried seemed to work beautifully. Let's hope things work as well when we get our Xbox One systems home later this month. 



Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DaleNorth Tips
I am Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief. I love corgis. I make music. more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

RatCasket avatarRatCasket
dtoid discussion has been awfully bitchy these past couple of days. knock it off. its just video games.
StripyTrousers avatarStripyTrousers
Just posted my first Dtoid Community blog. Hello all!
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Good Morning Good Morning We've talked the whole night through Good Morning Good Morning to you Good Morning Good Morning It's great to stay up late Good Morning Good Morning to you
Daniel Lingen avatarDaniel Lingen
#PAX2015
Agent9 avatarAgent9
gonna help my mom move and pack some things. what it means is I'm gonna sit and get yelled at whether I do or do not do something. I can't be the only one with a picky parent that expects nothing less than clairvoyance (-_-)
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
If some weren't aware, Phil/Mike Martin needs some help right now but can't access traditional donation avenues like Paypal on his own. I'm offering to be a middle man. I'm also offering to match 50% moving forward right now. [email protected]
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
At first I thought it would be fun. Then more ideas came, so I kept adding. More! More! But soon it just became stubbornness. Now, as I stare at 10000 words of meandering loon about a subject I'd almost rather be porn, I must question all my life choices.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Someone on Gamefaqs asking the real questions. How mad would you be if halfway through the Mad Max game he stumbles upon a tribe of kids and the rest of the game is a lighthearted romp?
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
I think, for my first try, I drew a pretty damn good Ryu, if I do say so myself [img]https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/edB8UKLdSZep8ZSOYF8u[/img]
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Really sad that Wes Craven has passed away. He made really fun films.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
R.I.P. Wes Craven. I'll always remember you for A Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream and Red Eye. I'll try not to remember you for Music of the Heart.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
So apparently Nintendo is taking down Mario Maker Let's Plays as fast as they can. Good job!
Snaveage avatarSnaveage
Phantom Pain is fucking glorious.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
Anyone remember the cartoon "Freakazoid"? I'm doing artwork for a box for work to hold my supplies, but I cant remember some of the better characters. Freakazoid, Steph, Cosgrove, Candlejack, the Lobe, Caveguy... but who else?
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Gotta love all those Dtoid community members that magically appear whenever there's a giveaway.
DSBrad avatarDSBrad
Newest Madden may be one of my favorites. Been taking all my time up.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
TWITCHTOID! I'll be playing some more PS4 Zombi and then some Until Dawn if'n I want to change things up. Link: [url=http://www.twitch.tv/thedefenestrator]Twitch.tv: TheDefenestrator[/url]
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Bless Wasteland 2's custom portraits [img]http://i.imgur.com/JuWaB1W.png?1[/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Sorting out a bunch of university stuff and going through a bit of writers block. I'm also holding some of my best stuff back for freelancing purposes (uni ain't cheap!), so sorry if my blogs have been a bit lackluster lately. And will be for 4-ish weeks.
gajknight avatargajknight
Been looking for a car to buy today. I swear, I am so sick of my mums voice. "It's too expensive!" "Don't you think it's a little big..." "INSURANCE!" Goddamn woman, chill your beans.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -