Kinect (originally known by the code name Project Natal), is a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game platform. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller, through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands. The project is aimed at broadening the Xbox 360's audience beyond its typical gamer base. Kinect competes with the Wii Remote Plus and PlayStation Move and PlayStation Eye motion control systems for
the Wii and PlayStation 3 home consoles, respectively. Kinect was launched in North America on November 4, 2010, in Europe on November 10, 2010, in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore on November 18, 2010 and in Japan on November 20, 2010. Purchase options for the sensor peripheral include a bundle with the game Kinect Adventures and console bundles with either a 4 GB or 250 GB Xbox 360 console and Kinect Adventures. Kinect holds the Guinness World Record of being the "fastest selling consumer electronics device". It sold an average of 133,333 units per day with a total of 8 million units in its first 60 days. 10 million units of the Kinect sensor have been shipped as of March 9, 2011. Microsoft has announced the release of a non-commercial Kinect software development kit for Windows in spring 2011, with a commercial version following at a later date.
Kinect is based on software technology developed internally by Rarre, a subsidiary of Microsoft Game Studios owned by Microsoft, and on range camera technology by Israeli developer PrimeSense, which interprets 3D scene information from a continuouslyprojected irnfrared structured light. This 3D scanner system called Light Coding employs a variant of image-based 3D reconstruction. The Kinect sensor is a horizontal bar connected to a small base with a motorized pivot and is designed to be positioned lengthwise above or below the video display. The device features an "RGBcamera, depth provide sensor full-body and multi-array 3D motion microphone running proprietary
recognition and voice
recognition capabilities. At launch, voice recognition was only made available in Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Mainland Europe will receive the feature in spring 2011. The Kinect sensor's microphone array enables the Xbox 360 to conduct acoustic source localization and ambient noise suppression, allowing for things such as headset-free party chat over Xbox Live. The depth sensor consists of an infrared laser projector combined with a
monochrome CMOS sensor, which captures video data in 3D under any ambient light conditions. The sensing range of the depth sensor is adjustable, and the Kinect software is capable of automatically calibrating the sensor based on gameplay and the player's physical environment, accommodating for the presence of furniture or other obstacles. Described by Microsoft personnel as the primary innovation of Kinect, the software technology enables advanced gesturr recognition, facial recognition and voice
recognition. According to information supplied to retailers, Kinect is capable of simultaneously tracking up to six people, including two active players for motion analysis with a feature extraction of 20 joints per player. Through reverse engineering efforts, it has been determined that the Kinect sensor outputs video at a frame rate of 30 Hz. The RGB video stream uses 8-bit VGA resolution (640 × 480 pixels) with a Bayer color filter, while the monochrome depth sensing video stream is in VGA resolution (640 × 480 pixels) with 11-bit depth, which provides 2,048 levels 2
of sensitivity. The Kinect sensor has a practical ranging limit of 1.2–3.5 m (3.9–11 ft) distance when used with the Xbox software. The area...