Hackers--and Internet culture in general--have had Kinect fever for a year now, and if rumors are to believed, things are only going to get better with the Kinect 2.
According to Eurogamer, the next Kinect will be accurate enough to read lips and track your emotional state. Eurogamer goes on to claim that, according to developer sources, the new device will be able to track which way you're is facing, track the pitch and volume of the your voice, and measure facial characteristics for different emotional states.
We'll have to see how these rumors pan out, but the next Kinect will have more nuanced motion tracking abilities to go along with Microsoft’s plans for the Kinect for Windows. Along with a SDK for the PC platform, Microsoft will begin rolling out PC-specific hardware with a Kinect built for Near Mode interactions at 40-50 centimeters (with the current Kinect, you need to be several feet from the sensor for it to recognize your movement).
It should be interesting to see how tracking emotional states plays into next generation games. Maybe a whole new crop of horror games could react to you instead of your character’s sanity level in games like Eternal Darkness. Alternatively, it would be interesting to see a game use Left4Dead’s procedural content generator or see difficulty adjust according to your stress level.
Of course, you could just hack it to create a dictating system that automatically creates emoticons and puts things you yell in all caps, a system that shows you lolcats when you frown, or wake you up when fall asleep writing that 500-page dissertation. The possibilities are endless!
How do you (want to) get emotional with technology? Leave a comment.
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