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Kinect downgrade leads to sign language loss

Ben Parfitt
Kinect downgrade leads to sign language loss

It was reported earlier this week that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 motion camera Kinect will be able to recognise sign language – it seems, though, that the version making it to retail cannot.

In a statement released to Kotaku a Microsoft rep claims: “We are excited about the potential of Kinect and its potential to impact gaming and entertainment. Microsoft files lots of patent applications to protect our intellectual property, not all of which are brought to market right away. Kinect that is shipping this holiday will not support sign language.”

The site goes on to quote “sources close to the evolution of Kinect's development” as saying that early versions of the Kinect hardware included a higher-res camera (over twice the resolution) than the 320x240 version found in the retail iteration of the device.

This enabled them to recognise individual fingers. However, the downscale in camera – which Kotaku claims was a cost-cutting measure – means that finger recognition is no longer possible.

MCV has contacted Microsoft about the accuracy of Kotaku’s claims.

UPDATE: Responding to MCV's request, a spokesperson for Microsoft told us that "we do not comment on rumour and speculation".

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Tags: Microsoft , kinect , resolution , camera , sign language

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