Microsoft has been seemingly out of the loop these days and seem like they have been letting technology pass them by. Have they really? By introducing “KINECT” to the gaming world on the 4th of November, they are introducing technology that they have been quietly acquiring for some time.
Gesture recognition technology in a nutshell, is a camera or series of cameras mounted so that the computer, to which it is connected, can track your movements and gestures and interface those with the software. In other words, what you do is what you see being done on the screen. This is used, for now, as a video game interface, transferring your movements to the character you have created in the game. No wires to clutter the entertainment center and no controllers to hold on to, or let go of. This gets you off the couch for a heightened experience.
The technology is cutting edge and the hardware, software and peripherals are still in development. With the application of this technology so far-reaching and diverse, Microsoft has seen fit to quietly acquire some of the more advanced players in the research and manufacturing of the hardware. In 2009, Microsoft acquired 3DV Systems, and the latest acquisition, Canesta, a Silicon Valley firm that has been working on the chipsets that handle the image sensors that allow cameras to see in 3 dimensions. If you were looking for the next generation of video games, it’s here.