Archive for January, 2011
I would like to start by saying, thank you to all of the viewers of the holiday video! Within 48 hours the video topped 100 views, which was pretty exciting for me.
I’ve not only gotten many positive reviews of the video – but also for the pictures that I included of various people playing Xbox Kinect. Such amazing technology has come to your living room, and not just for games either. Kinect is the subject of this month’s blog.
Kinect features full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition and voice recognition. It is unlike any other gaming system due to the fact that you do not have to hold or strap on any type of device or peripheral. Microsoft has created the device with the motto “You are the controller.” This is literally the case as your complete body movements interact with what is on the screen.
The Nintendo Wii was kind of a pioneer with motion enhanced gaming. But, the Wii does not require you to completely replicate what you see on screen. For example – you cannot bowl or play tennis in real life by sitting on the couch and swinging your arms. With the Wii, you can “cheat” a bit and be lazy. Not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing – but if your exercise program revolves around using Wii Fit – you could totally cheat a bit in your exercises. Kinect requires you to use your ENTIRE body, not just swing around a controller.
It’s incredibly intuitive. Take table tennis for example. I find it incredible that I can literally lean forward over the table to do a smash shot. I move left and right to line up my throw when I bowl. No buttons needed.
It encourages you to be active. During the winter it’s hard to get good exercise unless you go to a fitness center. Now, you can do physical and fun activities right in your own living room. It’s easy to break a sweat playing – see the picture below for an example…
So moving around and playing games is fun, but how about other functionality?
How about controlling movies on Netflix, sports on ESPN, or online radio with your hands or voice? This has by FAR been my favorite thing about Kinect. I can now watch sports on ESPN, and never have to pick up a remote. I simply say “Xbox… ESPN” and it loads up the ESPN application on the Xbox. It gives me a choice of live events or watching archived games in case I missed one. I can pause, rewind and fast forward the content simply by talking to my Xbox. Simply amazing. You can also check scores while watching a game and vote on polls that pop up. You can even watch a game with any of your friends around the world. You simply “party up” and you can chat with them without a headset – the built in microphone picks you up and their voice will play though your speakers.
There’s so much to talk about, and so many things you can do with Xbox Kinect. If you have any questions on it, be sure to comment.