E3 SPECIAL: Kinect backed by publishing and development elite

Microsoft flaunts string of improvements to Kinect

Microsoft’s two-hour E3 press conference demonstrated a range of enhancements to Kinect technology, as the wider industry continues to back the motion controller.

Announcements included a quartet of EA Sports titles with Kinect support, the world’s first Kinect-based core FPS game, and even a Minecraft port that uses the tech.

Develop has details on all the announcements here.

Kinect creative director Kudo Tsunoda has unveiled Kinect Fun Labs, a large-scale upgrade to the Kinect online community capabilities that went live with the announcement.

Decribed by Tsunoda as one of the “best innovations in Kinect”, Fun Labs is a permanent addition to the Xbox Live dashboard with features that will be available to developers and community members alike.

Fun Labs contains three major elements. The first is an advanced avatar construction system that allows players to build avatars by simply taking a picture of themselves. Fun Labs then processes a new avatar by recognising the player’s facial and body features, as well as clothing, and copying them instantly.

The second Fun Labs feature is ‘finger tracking’, which allows players to take pictures and draw directly onto them with their fingers. Images can be layered and finger tracking allows for lines to be drawn around the layers, creating a 3D effect that can be manipulated by the player by moving their body.

The final Fun Labs featured shown was ‘object capture’. This function allows users to capture images of objects to use within game environments by way of motion control. Toys, skateboards, cars or similar objects can all be uploaded and controlled via the Kinect motion tracking technology.

Tsunoda said of Kinect Fun Labs that it “gives the Kinect community a platform where they can play with their creations.”


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