Kinect for Windows to hit SA in June
Microsoft has announced that Kinect for Windows will be arriving in South Africa in June, and according to CAREN CROUS of Xbox 360 South Africa, this will change the way we interact with computers.
Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensor changed the way people play video games by recognising movement and speech. Now the company aims to redefine the way we interact with computers with the release of Kinect for Windows in South Africa later this year.
This is according to Caren Crous, product and marketing manager: Xbox 360 South Africa, who has confirmed that, along with Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Russia and Austria to name a few, South Africa will be welcoming the technology by as soon as June this year.
“This is a game-changer for Microsoft and the industry,” said Caren Crous, Kinect product and marketing manager in South Africa. “This isn’t about video games or Windows. This is about the future of computing, and will create entirely new ways of working with computers.”
The Kinect for Windows device is already being used in a variety of work settings. Car manufacturers are using the technology to enable virtual tours for customers. Hospitals are using its gesture-recognition ability to view CT scans without touching a keyboard or mouse. A clothing store in Los Angeles has created a pod that houses eight Kinect devices in a circle, which will scan a customer’s physique, take measurements, and recommend a pair of jeans.
Crous says there are numerous applications for the device in the education field as well, including helping people with special needs. Kinect for Windows includes the ability to track the head, neck and arms of either a seated or standing user, which broadens its functionality significantly.
“The Xbox team is also hard at work on the 1.5 release, which will be available at the end of May,” she says. “New to this version is Kinect Studio, an application that allows developers to record, playback and debug clips of users engaging with their applications.
“Also coming is what we call ‘seated’ or ’10-joint’ skeletal tracking which provides the capability to track the head, neck and arms of either a seated or standing user working in both default and near mode. There will be four new languages for speech recognition – French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese, and Xbox will be release new language packs that enable speech recognition for the way a language in spoken in different regions.”
The sky’s the limit for local developers too. Microsoft has already released the Kinect for Windows sensor and software development kit (SDK) for commercial applications. The latest release of the technology will include Kinect Studio, an application that allows developers to record, playback and debug clips of users engaging with their applications.
Regional availability and purchasing information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/purchase
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