No, the Kinect coming to retail can’t read sign language

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Recently it was reported that Microsoft had filed a patent that suggested its Kinect motion-sensing camera could read sign language. The truth is, the technology is there. Kinect technically could understand fine, individual finger movements. But the one we’re getting at retail this holiday? Not so much.

So here’s the deal, and you’ve heard it before, so there should be no surprises here: Microsoft cut costs on the Kinect technology in order to make the pricing more retail-friendly. What that led to was a reduced camera resolution, which limits what the camera is capable of doing. Among those things, the ability to understand sign language.

“We are excited about the potential of Kinect and its potential to impact gaming and entertainment,” it told Kotaku in response to the filed patent. “Microsoft files lots of patent applications to protect our intellectual property, not all of which are brought to market right away. Kinect that will be shipping this holiday will not support sign language.”

The implication here is that Microsoft’s investment in this technology doesn’t stop with this holiday’s offering. It seems obvious that, provided Kinect doesn’t completely bomb at retail (and hell, even if it does), we’ll be seeing similar and more advanced technology in the future as costs come down. In the meantime, read your own damned sign language.

Kinect Downgraded To Save Money, Can’t Read Sign Language [Kotaku via Edge] [Image]


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