[Rumor] Kinect 2 accurate enough to lip-read

Earlier this month, Microsoft revealed that Kinect will officially be coming to PCs next year, complete with hardware upgrades to make the device more friendly in a desktop environment. Apparently, that’s not the only Kinect hardware update Microsoft is working on.

A “development source” tells Eurogamer that Microsoft is working on a Kinect 2, and it will apparently be bundled in with future Xbox consoles, presumably including the next Xbox.

The new Kinect hardware is said to have significantly improved accuracy – the source says that Kinect 2 is so accurate that it can lip-read, track the pitch and volume of the players’ voice, and monitor facial characteristics to determine their emotional state.

Eurogamer points out in their report that the Kinect being forced down to a low resolution, 320×240, is what limits the Kinect’s capability to track more subtle movements – basically, the Kinect can’t track what it can’t get a clear image of.

Microsoft had to bump down the original Kinect’s resolution partly due to the hardware requiring a USB connection. Eurogamer reports that the USB interface is capable of transferring data at 35MB/s, but it’s artificially limited down to around 15MB/s on the Xbox 360 due to support for multiple USB devices being plugged in at once on the console.

On the other hand, Eurogamers’ source says that the Kinect 2 doesn’t require USB – instead, it will be able to use other “technologies” to be able to transfer data at higher speeds, allowing for a much higher resolution and higher frames per second.

“It can be cabled straight through on any number of technologies that just take phenomenally high res data straight to the main processor and straight to the main RAM and ask, what do you want to do with it?” the development source told Eurogamer.

Source: Eurogamer