Microsoft Patents A Smart Ring

Microsoft is known for working on cutting edge technology, with the technology used in the Kinect becoming a dream piece that was quickly built and mirrored in other gadgets and systems. The next piece of technology they want you using? How about something to go with your smart phone, a smart ring.

Back in November and December, Microsoft patented the designs for a smart ring, a device that would look and feel like a ring but would give you control of your devices as if it was a mouse. The smart ring would detect your fingers movements, acting almost as if you were using a touchscreen in thin air, and thought the use of a small laser, could even detect the position and movement of the finger. Felt like clicking a table and opening your family photos? Look no further!

With both the fingers movement and pose being tracked the input device could be used for anything from a smartphone to a desktop PC, with the complete control of your system (and sorry for saying this) at your fingertips.

The device is patented as working with several other components, from tablets, TV’s, Kinect’s and even smart glasses and smart watches. You’ve got the display in your glasses so why not touch it in thin air?

Are you excited by this concept? I am, imagine being able to control your computer at work like Iron Man with a flick of the wrist, this would also avoid the large motion and input detecting systems that many AR (augmented reality) headsets are having to mount to give you the full Iron Man experience.

Nintendo NX May Contain Kinect-Like Features

Rumours galore surround the Nintendo NX, the successor to the Wii U. Now it seems like another one has come forward thanks to a patent showing off what seems to be Kinect-like features.

Nintendo took the console market by storm when it released the Wii back in 2006. Featuring motion controllers through the Wii remotes, the console saw entire families playing bowling together in their sitting room and racing around tracks with Luigi and Mario against the grandparents. Since then several consoles have used similar methods to achieve motion capture gameplay, from the use of light orbs to accelerometers in controllers the consoles have experienced an influx of movement related gameplay features. The Kinect took it to a whole new level and it looks like a similar method could be used to take the NX that little bit further.

The Kinect used cameras to not only recognise who was playing the game but also their movement and distance (something that proved difficult for other consoles). The methods listed for the depth tracking software include everything from a distance measuring laser to using the thermal signature of a person to determine how close / far away from the camera they are.

Combined with the depth measuring technology there also appears to be gesture recognition, something which could see you swirling your arms around like Iron man as you power up and play your favourite games.

Are you excited for the NX? We are excited to see how it will turn out and what rumours are included in the latest console from Nintendo!

‘Vast Majority’of Xbox One Customers Still Use Kinect Says Microsoft

Microsoft originally opted for a heavy-handed approach with the Kinect sensor and forced consumers to purchase it as part of the basic Xbox One bundle. After public outrage regarding privacy concerns and Microsoft’s DRM plans, the company decided to offer a version without the Kinect. Since then, the Kinect has hardly been mentioned during Microsoft’s major gaming presentations. Although, Xbox’s Chief Marketing Officer Mike Nichols told Polygon:

“Overall, we don’t break down how many console users have Kinect and how many don’t,”

“That’s a level of granularity we don’t want to get into.”

“I can say that the people with Kinect still make up a very, very sizeable portion and that those people do use it quiet frequently. Less for games, but a lot more for biometric sign-in and user interface.”

In terms of core games, the Kinect is a gimmick and rarely used in any modern titles. The only exception which comes to mind is Alien Isolation. It can be useful for quick navigation when scrolling through various films, or TV shows on streaming services. The technology is impressive but it feels like Microsoft has abandoned it. Arguably, it doesn’t integrate well in the gaming market, and Microsoft’s Xbox division is focused on catering to gaming demographic it originally took for granted.

Do you use the Kinect?

Twitch Streamer Uses Xbox Rock Band Guitar on Bloodborn

What do you get when you mix a Xbox 360 Rock Band 1 Guitar controller with a PS4 version of Bloodborne? Well, a bit of a headache getting it to work at first, but eventually an epic ‘Guitarborne’ gameplay video, as Twitch streamer bearzly names it.

It looks like the guy really has some crazy ideas up his sleeves, but at the same time, they are most entertaining to watch. Also, the Guitarborne stream is not his first, according to his Twitch profile. He has performed many ‘terrible controllers’ runs of different games, but mostly Dark Souls, as he states he is a huge fan of the Souls series.

Aside from his latest Guitarborne video, he appears to have made a Drum Borne (drum controller), piano controller, one finger, Wiimote & Nunchucks and Bongo Souls (bongo controller) videos. Other videos he has in the planning stages include controllers such as the DDR Pad, Maracas, Katana, N64, SNES, Powerglove and Kinect.

Twitch users can also suggest him other crazy controllers and have him try to make an epic video out of them. At present, the hardest controller he used to play on and stream with is the piano Rock Band 3 controller, experiencing a lot of problems with running straight on the thing. Still, the videos are epic!

Watch some of his videos, including the Guitarborne one, below:

If you want to watch more of his videos, head on over to his Twitch profile. What do you think? Have any crazy controller ideas in mind?

Image courtesy of IGN

Microsoft Stops Selling Kinect for Windows

In a move to streamline things Microsoft will be ceasing the sale of the Kinect for Windows and instead sell the XBox One Kinect and its PC adapter cable. It was selling essentially the same product twice so the move to selling a single Kinect unit adapter cable should keep things simple.

The Kinect for Windows was so popular with desktop developers that in some markets there were supply issues. That should not be the case with moving to a single product and having the adapter cable available. Developers and owners of Kinect units should not worry though as support will still be around for the unit. With all the simplifying and consolidating that Microsoft has done recently this move makes a lot of sense and it is likely that more products will follow suit.

Source: Engadget

AVG Makes Glasses That Hide You From Facial Recognition Software

AVG, a company commonly known for protecting computing devices from viruses has embarked on an endeavour to protect your face from facial recognition software.

The concept, as demonstrated at Mobile World Congress, relies on a pair of glasses that, when worn, prevent facial recognition from detecting the presence of eyes, the most common marker for such technology.

The glasses contain LEDs that are only visible to digital cameras, which blocks areas used to recognise faces, and, in conjunction with a lining of reflective material that bounces flashlight back at the camera, make it harder to take a photo of the wearer.

Though still in the prototype stage, AVG hopes to develop the concept into a consumer model soon. The technology is sure to displease Microsoft, though, who recently revealed plans to use Kinect in retail spaces to recognise and track shoppers.

Source: Gizmodo

Kinect to Teach Police “Use of Force” Options

A new piece of software for the Windows version of Microsoft’s motion-sensing Kinect peripheral could be used to teach cops how to deal with confrontational situations.

The system uses MILO Range, an “interactive use of force, tactical judgement training, and firearms training system”, using video footage to simulate hostile situations, to which officers can respond to verbally, with a baton, a pistol, or just some sweet fight moves (above).

The footage looks hilarious, in a Night Trap for the SEGA Mega-CD kind of way. I’m not sure that’s what they were going for.

Source: Kotaku

Xbox One HoloLens Plans Leaked – In 2012

Microsoft is no stranger to leaks. Most of the company’s plans have been some of the worst-kept secrets in the industry. Well now news has surfaced giving us a look at one of the biggest leaks in Microsoft history. A leak that no-one really ever took notice of.

According to Engadgeta document was uploaded to Scribd in 2012 that basically laid out all of the company’s Xbox plans in intimate detail. It covered many of the things that have been realised today – the Xbox One with its media functionality, the inclusion of the new Kinect, and perhaps most intriguingly of all, the 2 year old documents detail a certain “Project Fortaleza” – the very project that would become Microsoft’s HoloLens glasses we saw a few weeks ago.

The documents, which have since been deleted, carry an incredible level of detail, with most of the plans coming true. However, there are a few things in there that haven’t become true – the Xbox One was supposed to be priced at $300 but instead was released with a high $500 price, and there’s also details in the documents that say Microsoft originally wanted to have the HoloLens out in 2014. They also said that they wanted an updated model out in 2015 with “4G connectivity” – something unlikely to happen for at least a while.

Be sure to visit the source link to read the plans in more detail.

Source: Engadget

Microsoft Reveals the Fate of Xbox’s IllumiRoom Function

IllumiRoom started a lot of excitement when Microsoft showed it off Many of us wondered, and waited, for a product to be released. But nothing so far and most have probably given up hope by now.

The IllumniRoom technology that was shown by Microsoft Research back in 2013 used a Kinect to “extend” the screen of the Xbox beyond the limit of your screen size by using the rest of the room as extended display.

Thanks to Xbox Live Operations Manager Eric Neustadter, we now know that this sadly won’t be commercialized. At least not from them and not now.

“We said when IllumiRoom came out, it was a tech demo. It was never announced as a product, or something you’d be able to buy. People got really excited about it, because it was really cool, but it was just a… “hey, let’s see if we can do this and figure out what to do with it.” Eric said, “There are a lot of smart people running around Microsoft to invent a lot of really cool things that don’t immediately become products.”

Thanks to DualShockers for providing us with this information

Microsoft Want Kinect Used to Recognise Shoppers, Minority Report-Style

Microsoft has proposed using its Kinect hardware in stores to recognise customers and track their shopping habits. The idea was put forward in a Microsoft blog post on Monday, entitled 2015: The Year of On-demand, Personalized Shopping.

Kinect, the motion controller for Xbox 360 and Xbox One, is able to identify faces, discern facial expressions, track body and limb movements, and recognise voice commands. Microsoft believes the technology could revolutionise how retailers engage with their customers. From Microsoft’s blog:

The NEC Biometric interface with Kinect Camera system provides demographic and face recognition services to a Kinect enabled application. Retailers can use this information for analysis and for providing the customer with a more personal selling experience. MediaCart will change the shopping cart as we know it. Adding a location-aware tablet to the cart allows a retailer to present a personal and relevant shopping experience to its customer. This allows context sensitive ads and promotions when in front of various products along with a barcode scanning capability for price lookups and basket totals.

The small matter of whether customers will stand for being tracked, catalogued, and spied on, however, isn’t broached in the blog entry.

Source: Business Insider

BBC iPlayer Available for Xbox One

Finally after a year of being available, you can now access BBC iPlayer on your Xbox One.

The decision not to include a BBC iPlayer app with the Xbox One drew a great deal of criticism towards both Microsoft and the BBC. The PS4 came with the app from launch, leaving many British Xbox One owners wondering why their console missed out. Now that’s changed with a dedicated app that utilises Kinect features, allowing users to play and pause BBC programmes with their voice. The app is available now on the Xbox One App Store.

The app came alongside the announcement by the BBC that from this week, programmes will be available to download for 30 days, extending iPlayer’s download window from the previous 7 days.

Source: The Verge

 

 

You Can Now Order Pizza from an Xbox One

After announcing it in October, Domino’s Pizza yesterday released its Xbox One pizza delivery app.

Now you barely have to stop playing to get your pizza fix – you can even order using Kinect’s gestures or its voice recognition system. The app allows you to customise your pizza, modify delivery and track it being made. You can take advantage of the Xbox One’s Snap feature, so you can get straight back to play in no time at all. As The Telegraph points out, Pizza Hut had an app on the Xbox 360, making some wonder why the change to Domino’s?

Did Pizza Hut get Bill Gates’ order wrong?

The new app is available now from the Xbox Marketplace.

Source: The Telegraph

Microsoft Create 3D Depth Sensor from Single-Camera Smartphone

Microsoft are tinkering with camera technology once again. Their Kinect technology may not be a smash hit with consumers as they once hoped it would be, but the underlying technology is not something they’re about to give up on.

Using a simple mod that can be added to any smartphone or web cam the team were able to create a working prototype of their motion sensor. It’s capable of detecting fine movements, facial animations and more, even under a multitude of lighting conditions and it’ll do it at a significantly reduced cost compared to solutions such as the Kinect.

“We present a machine learning technique for estimating absolute, per-pixel depth using any conventional monocular 2D camera, with minor hardware modifications,” said the team, “our approach targets close-range human capture and interaction where dense 3D estimation of hands and faces is desired.” they added.

It’s an impressive party trick for a single lens camera and this could pave the way for some pretty advanced tricks in the smartphone market over the next couple of years. Especially given the current rise in popularity for VR tech in all its shapes and forms.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/n89EsXM69d4[/youtube]

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wired.

Microsoft Reveal New Xbox One Bundles – Includes More Storage

Now Gamescon 2014 is well under way and there have been loads of awesome announcements in just a few days, on of these  is a few new Xbox One bundles that were announced by Microsoft. The two bundles are a White edition of the Xbox One and a Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare edition, both have their own special features.

Firstly is the white Xbox One, you may remember a craze of people selling them on eBay for thousands of pounds because they were for employees only and it came with a controller that said “I made this” on it, well now this version of the console is available to the public with Kinect  right now! (Minus the text on the controller because, well, you didn’t make it) There will be an option to buy it without the Kinect camera from October 28th this year and it will set you back $399.

Secondly comes the more interesting edition out of the two, the Advanced Warfare edition. This will launch with a custom paint job on your Xbox and feature a 1Tb HDD, double that of the current 500Gb one. It will come with a copy of the game, which it should as it is the Advanced Warfare edition after all!

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

3D Video Streaming & Social VR Prototype Revealed for Oculus Rift

Convrge Team have created their first prototype for Oculus Rift and while it is incredibly rough around the edges, it does show some interesting features that can be squeezed out of off-the-shelf components such as the Oculus Rift headset and a Microsoft Kinect (old model).

The technology is very rough around the edges, but it shows how one person could view a real time 3D video or avatar of another user, which could offer some unique interactions for long distance communications.

The team said they’re working hard to really bring their demo up to a higher standard, this is just their teaser which was running on Oculus DK2, an old Kinect V1, two laptops and little else. The demo ran in real-time and is obviously very buggy, but if this is what they can do with a now dated 3D camera technology, there is certainly some promise here.

The team will be running another demo in the near future using better cameras, improved software and dedicated desktop rigs, where we can expect improved functionality. Of course this only works one way at the moment as the other user isn’t wearing a DK2 headset. This could off a unique way of watching someone given a presentation or demonstration, long distance communications and more.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/SpdP7Wyp438[/youtube]

Thank you Convrge for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Convrge.

 

Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul Turning on Xbox One Console via TV Advert

The new Xbox One advert which features Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul is causing headaches for some Xbox One users, just as the actor says “Xbox On” at the start of the advert, the voice command turns on the Xbox One in the advert, but it’s also turning on Xbox One consoles in peoples houses, as their Kinect is detected the audio coming from their TV. This has left many users to take to social media to vent their frustrations, albeit ones that I can’t help giggling at.

“Aaron Paul just turned my Xbox One via the Xbox advert. (Which triggered the IR [infrared] blaster to switch my TV off..)” tweeted Qassim Farid, a UK-based tech blogger.

Chesterfield-based Tom Neal wrote: “@Xbox your new TV advert is annoying the hell outta me. Aaron Paul keeps turning my console on… #stooooop”

This issue comes up in the same week that Microsoft begins to retail their Kinect free Xbox One bundle and they didn’t really do anything with the Kinect at their years E3 either. With features causing issues and the hardware now being removed from new bundles, not to mention talks of unlocking more GPU power by disabling the Kinect device, it looks like the life of the Kinect is getting shorter and shorter.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of BBC.

New Windows v2 Kinect Available For Pre-Order, Shipping to Start on the 15th of July

Microsoft’s team of engineers designated for the Kinect have announced that developers can finally pre-order the new Kinect for Windows v2 sensor from Microsoft’s Store at just $199. Microsoft has also stated that customers who pe-order the new Kinect now will be able to receive it ahead of general availability, stated to be a few months away.

Information gathered from Microsoft’s Store indicate that customers pre-ordering the new Kinect during the pre-order phase will receive the device somewhere after the second half of July, having the company start shipping the new batch on the 15th of July. Microsoft is also said to plan a release of their public beta software development kit for the devices as soon as the first new Kinect devices start shipping.

In terms of specs, the new Microsoft Kinect is stated to come with increased depth-sensing features, full 1080p video support, improved skeletal tracking and enhanced infrared technology. The company also states that the v2 sensor will also start shipping in July to whomever participated in the Developer Preview programme, though not a lot of developers were accepted into it.
Microsoft also hopes that the pre-order option will address the sensor’s demand before it is made available to the public.

Microsoft also mentioned that the new Kinect is available in limited quantities spread throughout 23 regions, including the US and UK, being priced accordingly based on the respective region’s currency.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Spot

iPhone and Android Compatible Windows Smartwatch Rumored to be in Production

Apple, Samsung and other manufacturers to have announced their production of smartwatches may have yet another strong competitor coming at a rapid pace. According to Forbes, Microsoft is attempting to make its way into the wearable market with its own smartwatch gadget and rumours are that it will not be exclusive for Windows-powered handsets.

Microsoft is allegedly attempting to make its smartwatch compatible with both iPhone and Android devices alongside its own Windows Phone operating system. The gadget is said to come with a rich sensor combination,including heart rate monitoring.

The team behind some of its concept is rumoured to be the Microsoft Xbox Kinect division, which makes sense given the gadget’s required functions. Also, compared to other manufacturers, Microsoft plans to implement a continuous heart rate monitor, giving constant feedback on the gathered information.

The smartwatch is said to have a battery life of two days, which is not too bad given the fact that Samsung’s Gear Fit has a similar battery life as well. In terms of design, the smartwatch is rumoured to have the same aspect as the Galaxy Fit and feature a full-color touchscreen, having its size estimated to be around half a stick of gum.

More details about the smartwatch are unclear at the moment, but this bald move might have a big impact for Microsoft, having yet another product which could work on rival platforms.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Softpedia

Reduced Price Xbox One With No Kinect Coming Next Month

The console was is finally about to get into full swing, with E3 just around the corner and both consoles having been on the market for a few months, we can expect a wave of new content in the next few months. Sony may be winning so far, but Microsoft are about to turn their back on yet another dream they had for the Xbox One, they’re ditching the Kinect!

Ok so ditching the Kinect is a little sensational, but the death of the Kinect begins next month as Microsoft plans to sell the console without the camera peripheral. Not only does this give consumers more options, but it also means that Microsoft can drastically cut the price of the console down to $399, bringing it in line (in terms of price) with what Sony are offering.

Microsoft will also be dropping the requirement for Xbox Live Gold to access Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, OneGuide, Internet Explorer and other premium services, and about time too because I don’t know how they got away with that pay well over these services in the first place!

The new Kinect-free bundle is already showing up for pre-order at many retailers, with an expected release date of June 9th.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Korean Border Guarded By Kinect-powered Surveillance System

The Kinect has been used in a lot of different ways, but its main purpose is and always was Gaming. Although, the Kinect sensor has been used in other non-game related experiments as well, which include turning a bath tub into a giant touch-screen gadget as well as aiding the well-known VR headset gear, the Oculus Rift.

But South Korea apparently found a more interesting and practical method of using the Kinect sensor. Programmer Jae Kwan Ko explains to The Verge that he found a way to ‘harness’ its features and turn it into an ultimate border patrol gadget. Since South Korea and North Korea don’t see eye to eye and tensions at the border run high most of the time, Ko apparently developed an easier way to keep an eye on what’s going on near the border perimeter.

He reportedly developed a hardware as well as software system which uses the Kinect to detect moving objects. It was delivered to the US Army in August and since the, instilled in the Demilitarized Zones on the border perimeter, watching and analysing each and every moving object. It is said that the system can even detect whether a moving object is human or an animal, as well as having the capacity to trigger alerts at the army base if it detects human movement.

One can ask why Kinect and not something more high-tech. Well, there might be two reasons here. First and most important is that Ko has been creating and even specializes in windows application for Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Kinect. This is the most important key factor. Another good reason, in my opinion, might be the price. High-tech non mass-produced gadgets will always cost a whole lot more than something which is already available on the market. Combining brains with creativity results in great things being achieved, and this one could be one of them.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The Verge

NASA Control Robot With Kinect 2 And Oculus Rift

NASA are no stranger to innovation, which is exactly why they signed up for the Kinect for Windows developer program in order to get their hands on the Kinect 2. It wouldn’t be the first time the team have tinkered with gaming peripherals for their experiments either as the team previously used the Leap Motion controller, Oculus Rift and Virtuix Omni to allow them to take a virtual walk around tour of the red planet.

Using the Oculus Rift and Kinect 2 the team at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory were able to get the two devices controlling an off-the-shelf robotic arm. Using a head mounted display and the motion sensors lead the team to state that the resulting interface was their “most immersive interface to date”.

“It allowed us to track open and closed states, and the rotation of the wrist,” says Human Interfaces Engineer Victor Luo. “With all of these new tracking points and rotational degrees of freedom, we were able to better manipulate the arm.”

Latency is an issue for the team, especially given they have to simulate the delay incurred by remote controlling missions on other planets such as Mars rovers. They work around this issue in their simulations by having a ghost image of the control arm which you control, while the solid image of the arm catches up, allowing you to plot moves in advance for the robot to then carry out.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/pqNC72fgetc[/youtube]

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

More Exhibition Hall Gallery @ Insomnia i50

Insomnia i50 Lanniversary is in full swing and while we bring you coverage of some of the booth, we thought you might like to see what else is going on around the show with a quick look at some of the other booths. Enjoy the pictures and if you came to the show or are still at the show, leave a comment below, or find us and say hi!

Apple Buys PrimeSense, Original Co-Creators Of Kinect

Back in July is was rumoured that Apple were looking to purchase PrimeSense, and now it looks like that deal has gone ahead as Apple acquire the Israeli based company who helped create the core technology behind the original Kinect for Xbox 360.

According to Israeli news source Calcalist, Cupertino, Apple acquired the technology company in a deal that cost around $345 million. Something that could pave the way for Apple integrating motion controlled technology into their devices in the near future.

Rumour has it that Apple could be looking to integrate such technology into their much anticipated Apple TV device, but with the company now belonging to Apple there is no reason to doubt that they could use such a device with a wide range of Apple products ranging from Apple TV to their desktop and mobile solutions.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

Interworks Unlimited Announces The Xbox One Privacy Cover For Kinect 2

Interworks Unlimited have announced the InterWorks Unlimited Xbox One Privacy Cover accessory for the Kinect 2. The designer’s first peripheral in a line up for Xbox One, the InterWorks Unlimited Xbox One Privacy Cover features a sturdy design that installs around the embodiment of the Kinect 2 Camera providing a lens cover for quick access to motion gaming or privacy protection whenever you need it.

Basically, if you are paranoid or even remotely concerned about your privacy when having a HD camera constantly hooked up in your living room, then this slide cover could be a quicker and easier solution than unplugging the device, or changing the consoles security settings. It effectively acts like a lens cap.

Throughout the development of the InterWorks Unlimited Xbox One Privacy Cover, InterWorks Unlimited engineers worked closely with Microsoft specifications to ensure 100% compatibility with the Kinect 2. The result is a fine crafted accessory that does not hinder your Kinect 2 operation.

“The InterWorks Unlimited Xbox One Privacy Cover puts the user in control, giving the gamer the power to change from motion control gaming to private use and back with the swipe of your finger. Definitely easier than unplugging the Kinect power cable everyday.” – InterWorks PR.

In addition to privacy protection, the InterWorks Unlimited Xbox One Privacy Cover also provides protection for your Kinect 2, afterall it never hurts to cover a camera lens when not in use!

The Interworks Unlimited Xbox One Privacy Cover is available now at select national retailers and online outlets, with an MSRP of $19.99. Gamers who want to get the product early, well before the console launch, Order on Amazon here.

Thank you Interworks Unlimited for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Microsoft Demo Code-Entry Via Kinect 2.0 On Xbox One

One thing I hate about my Xbox 360 is that I use store bought top up cards for Xbox Live. Entering the code can be a bit of a fiddle, especially with the on screen keyboard and a controller to navigate it. Microsoft have a solution for this and now you won’t have to type your codes in at all.

Microsoft’s gaming front man Major Nelson uploaded a video to Vine to demonstrate the feature and how fast the  new Kinect camera can scan the Xbox Live code.

This might not sound much, but it is a feature you will come to appreciate. This could just be a taste of the extra features and benefits that will develop for the Kinect camera over the next few years.

[vine url=”https://vine.co/v/hIAEZuQp5MK” width=600 height=600]

Thank you Pocket Lint for providing us with this information.

Microsoft Announces Three Xbox 360 Holiday Bundles

Microsoft has unveiled three new Xbox 360 holiday bundles with just over a month left for the official Xbox One launch. To appeal to our tastes and most definitely our budget, despite the imminent launch of the new Xbox One next-gen console, Microsoft is offering the best games in these new bundles.

The base model comes with a 250 GB HDD and comes bundled up with Halo 4 and Tomb Raider, all for $300. There’s also a 4 GB Kinect package with Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports 2 for just $300 as well. Meanwhile, the $400 bundle will fetch you a 250 GB Kinect which offers the two aforementioned Kinect titles in addition to the Forza Horizon title.

To be noted is that Microsoft will be offering an additional $50 off on these bundles between their launch and the end of this holiday season, which is from October the 13th, 2013 through January 4, 2014. This is perhaps the best time to buy this current generation console.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Microsoft Says Kinect Can Obtain Biometric Information Through Sensors

A Microsoft Executive, Zulfi Alam, has told CVG that the Xbox One’s Kinect sensor is capable of detecting Biometric information. Such a sensor was apparently due to be integrated into the Xbox One controller but was subsequently removed after it caused issues with battery life for the controller.

Zulfi Alam stated that “We already have the ability to know what your emotion and heart-rate is, and that’s through the Kinect camera.”

Biometric sensors would have negatively impacted battery life so the move to put them in the Kinect sensor is a sensible one. It is also sensible in my opinion because it allows people to ditch the Biometric sensors if they aren’t comfortable with them because they can choose not to use the Kinect.

Microsoft has already announced that gamers can choose to use the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor if they wish. The Xbox One launches later on this year in November.

How do you feel about a sensor monitoring your Biometric information?

Image courtesy of Microsoft