Microsoft’s New SDK for Xbox Kinect: Motion Accessory Now Captures & Reacts to Facial Expressions

We’re quickly moving toward the E3 conference which this year will be held between the 5th and 7th of June in Los Angeles, California – and speaking of moving and motion, Microsoft’s future plans for the Kinect motion capturing controller accessory could be discussed in a little more detail at the expo after a software developer’s kit was released delivering detailed facial expression capture and much more advanced capabilities than we’ve ever seen before, proving once more that this gaming gadget is more than just a toy.

Many believed that Microsoft would unveil a new Xbox 360, a “Ybox” or even an “Xbox 720” at the upcoming games and entertainment showcase, but the software and computing giant shot these rumours down in flames, stating there’s still life in the old girl yet and the seven year old home console was said to have a continued lifespan which we saw acknowledged by a growing selection of entertainment apps brought to the Xbox Dashboard and LIVE network – reports even suggesting Americans now use their Microsoft consoles more for these apps than for online gaming. One of the crucial elements of the Xbox 360 console’s future survival, and something the other leading rivals are yet to fully grasp is motion sensor gaming.

The Kinect offers versatility to our Xbox playtime on games like the next FIFA title (FIFA ’13, of course) and has also been seen used for more serious practical applications from the supermarket to the operating theatre and the latest SDK allows devs to tinker with several new additions including that much improved facial recognition software which adds a 3D mesh to a users features and tracks our expressions including every blink, smile or frown and reacts in response – meaning we could soon become an even bigger part of the man/machine interaction in games and exciting new avenues such as “holographic” video calling. The toolkit also brings advanced skeletal capture and speech recognition.

These exciting developments are yet to reach our unclean mitts, but with some luck we could see them in a much greater depths at the E3 event in less than a month!

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