Finger tracking rumoured for Kinect

December 21, 2010 // 7:32 a.m.

Tags: #controller-free #finger-tracking #gaming #gesture-based-gaming #kinect #microsoft #microsoft-kinect #motion-gaming #xbox-360

Microsoft's Kinect, which enables gamers to control Xbox 360 games just by flailing around, looks set to get significantly more sensitive. According to the grapevine, finger-tracking capabilities are set to appear in the near future.

At least, that's the claim from an unnamed source talking to Eurogamer. The informer says the Kinect team is working hard on increasing the amount of data that the USB-connected peripheral can stream to the Xbox 360.

According to the source, Kinect can currently only use around 15MB/sec of the 35MB/sec of the bandwidth available to the USB controller, in order to keep some bandwidth free for other USB peripherals. This has the knock-on effect of limiting the resolution of data gathered by the Kinect's depth sensor to just 320 x 240 at 30fps.

However, the team is reportedly working on either switching off the reserved bandwidth limitation, or increasing the efficiency of the stream compression to improve the quality of data received from the depth sensor. This could potentially enable the Kinect's sensor to detect positional data at a more impressive resolution of 640 x 480.

If true, this could lead to future Kinect titles tracking the rotation of a hand, and even individual fingers. This is currently impossible on the device, given the relatively low-resolution positioning data received from the Kinect's depth sensor.

Microsoft, for its part, hasn't responded to the claims, but clearly the company needs to do something to keep its Kinect system competitive against the likes of Sony's Move.

Could finger-tracking persuade you to buy a Kinect, or is it just another gimmick? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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