Scott Henson, boss of UK games developer Rare, has revealed that the Xbox Kinect is "just getting started" in terms of technological developments.
Rare is currently working on the follow-up game Kinect Sports: Season Two. Many new Xbox 360 games are making use of Kinect's in built microphone and voice recognition capabilities, and Kinect Sports: Season 2 will recognise more player-spoken lines than any other game available at the moment.
Henson claimed that players will be able to speak naturally to their Xbox using Kinect and it will be able to "pick up the right phrases and no matter what the language is, no matter who it is."
But it will go further than that, with players able to have full conversations with gaming characters; Henson uses the example of a golfing game to explain:
"You'll literally say something like, 'you know caddy, I think I need something that helps me with the wind conditions.' Then the caddy will respond with, 'well, it could be either a six iron or a seven iron.' And you say, 'oh, I'd like the seven iron.' It'll be that natural of a conversation."
Further innovations to the Kinect experience include Kinect Fun Labs which will allow you to scan objects in real life and have them transformed into moving 3D objects on screen.
Don't stop believing
Henson didn't make any promises about the future of Kinect, but when asked about the possibility of our hands and bodies replacing the controller in a similar way to the 2002 film, Minority Report, where giant screens are controlled by hand movement, he said:
"We need to strike that balance between what's possible and what actually works and people can understand…Everyone needs that fun, but at the same time there needs to be this sense of progression and skill. It's a challenge. We welcome it with open arms."
The motion-sensing Kinect, which has become the fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history, has had a few issues since its launch last year, not least that it's almost impossible to use in a confined space.
"Every canvas has its borders. We just work with those borders in a way that keeps people immersed in the experience but lives within the realities and constraints of whatever might be someone's living room or situation. This is where software comes into play. We look at all kinds of things, from clothing type to lighting type," said Mr Henson on the issue.
With the Kinect SDK being released, it is definitely going to be an exciting "journey". Where it will take us, we do not yet know.
While we're looking into the future, you may want to check out the things we'd like to see on the next incarnation of the Xbox:
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