The Idea: Kinect is an add-on for the Xbox 360, with one cable that you plug into the Xbox. Kinect has three lenses – an RGB video camera, an infrared projector, and a distance and depth sensor – enabling users to control the Xbox without a game controller.It works by calculating and detecting the position and movement of 48 principle joints in your anatomy, including those of your head, hands, torso, and knees. Kinect has 3D vision, overlaying input from the camera with input from the depth sensor.
What’s more, Kinect has four built-in microphones that monitor the room for your voice, allowing you to control your Xbox 360 using only voice commands. And the price? If you already have an Xbox, you can buy the Kinect for $150; if you don’t, you can buy it with a 4G Xbox for $300.
Whose idea: Microsoft
Why we like it: Kinect goes beyond motion games that rely on swinging one hand – it creates a gaming experience for whole-body simulations, including obstacle courses, dancing, and flying. Instead of using your hands, you use your whole body as the controller. And without a single external controller, the game attracts all ages and even those who aren’t really the gaming type.
GameSpot reported that two dark-skinned employees had trouble with Kinect’s facial recognition feature, yet a Consumer Reports test, as well as a Microsoft report, debunked this issue, attributing the problem to low room lighting. Lighting conditions, however, shouldn’t affect the actual playing of the game, only the facial recognition feature at log-in.
Source: New York Times
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