Tag - Project Natal
Microsoft's patent application for its Kinect motion controller has recently gone public, giving everyone an inside look at how the technology works. The system uses software called PrimeSense to detect the user's movements thanks to a webcam. The camera detects human targets and compares them to a stored pattern of a human body model.
(Updated with price leak) Microsoft at its E3 conference put a date on the Kinect motion controller. The add-on will ship on November 4 and will be accompanied by 15 games when it launches. Some of these are first-party games such as the virtual pet Kinectimals or the multi-game Kinect Adventures, but others will be third-party titles such as Ubisoft's Your Space exerciser and Harmonix's Dance Central; Konami's Metal Gear-themed Zan-Datsu and a Star Wars game are also in the works.
Microsoft held its E3 press conference today in Los Angeles. It provided more details of the Kinect controller and the slim Xbox 360. Visit our live coverage page for updates as they happened.
Microsoft very early this morning confirmed the first details of Kinect, the new name for Project Natal. The Xbox 360's motion controller add-on will be useful for games like a Star Wars Jedi title and the pet play game Kinectimals but will also be useful for large parts of the console's interface. A video chat app is new and will let users share photos, and much of the Xbox Dashboard will be controllable with hand gestures.
Microsoft may have let slip some of its E3 plans early, including a redesigned Xbox 360, through a series of posts and ads. International gaming sites such as Console Tribe briefly showed ads this evening of the rumored slim Xbox 360. Apart from being smaller, the new design has an angular shape reminiscent of the X logo and is more than just the smaller, cooler-running model hinted at earlier. The ads point to it having built-in Wi-Fi for the first time, saving a costly adapter, and making 250GB the standard capacity.
Microsoft's often rumored slim Xbox 360 may be close enough to launch at E3, sources said Thursday. It would have the smaller chips expected to reduce the heat and cost of the console as well as extra steps to keep the price down. Its design might be timed to coincide with the launch of Project Natal as it could help spark interest in a combination of the two.
Microsoft hopes to sell "at least" five million Project Natal controllers this year, two insiders said late Thursday [subscription required]. The sources didn't provide the exact launch date or price but implied to the WSJ that the target was aggressive, as the motion controllers would only ship late in the year. Microsoft has publicly touted Natal as one of its most important launches.
More photos of what is believed to be Microsoft's Project Natal full body controller have surfaced, thanks to Engadget. The expected retail version was being demonstrated at the D8 show, which is where the photos were captured. Unlike the previous leaked photos, this version is white, to match the Xbox 360 Arcade's standard color.
Microsoft's Project Natal could be an expensive peripheral if a rumor from a "trusted" insider is true. The device could cost as much as $149 by itself and might make the most sense only as part of an Xbox 360 bundle, where it would cost $299 for an Arcade console with the motion controller. The Edge source added that it was targeted for an October 26th launch, consistent with earlier rumors, but that it could move weeks forward or back depending on conditions.
Microsoft's full-body motion controller Project Natal, has been on track to come out in time for the Christmas holidays, but the latest news from the software and hardware giant places it at an October release. Microsoft's Saudi Marketing Manager Syed Bilal Tariq claimed during a presentation that nothing was official but was confident that the launch had been narrowed down to the one-month window.
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Lunch with Cook auction nets $515K
The Charitybuzz auction that offered lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple HQ and a pair of passes to a future Apple event (winner's pick) has ended with a high bid of $515,000, the highest amount the annual auction has fetched since 2013. Proceeds of the auction will benefit Cook's preferred charity, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, where Cook was recently named to the board of directors. The winner, who was unnamed, will be responsible for their own transportation and accommodation, and Cook has up to a year to schedule the meeting -- making it possible that the winner will be among the first to dine with Cook in the new Campus 2 cafeteria, which is set to open along with the rest of the new facility early next year. http://bit.ly/236Wf9N
Free Windows 10 upgrade program ends July 29
Ending speculation, Microsoft has officially announced that it will end free Windows 10 upgrades on July 29, the one-year anniversary of the rollout of the OS. Following the 29th, Microsoft's ubiquitous OS will retail for $119 and up. http://bit.ly/1O0a7kA
US tech giants to candidates: support TPP
Tech giants including Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Uber are among thirteen major US corporations who have written an open letter to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton urging them to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, reports Reuters. Although not yet made public, the letter also asks the candidates to make it easier for the companies to hire tech workers from overseas. Both are not happy with the TPP deal, although Trump is sterner in his opposition to any kind of trade deals between countries. Trump has not rejected outright the idea of importing high-tech talent from overseas, while Clinton has already voiced her support for the idea. http://reut.rs/1Wb0Zwq
Apple mandates June 1 app IPv6 support
Apple has set the deadline for IPv6 support for App Store-supplied software. On June 1, apps thast use a custom networking stack and that are submitted to the app store must support IPv6-only networks. The rule, announced last year as coming soon, will only affect a small portion of submitted applications that do not use the NSURLSession and CFNetwork APIs. http://apple.co/24yBTIY
YouTube Unplugged OTT service coming 2017?
As part of the continuing YouTube evolution, the video streaming service is reportedly considering a paid subscription service that would provide users "over the top" cable TV service. According to sources familiar with the matter, the service has been in the works since 2012, has already made changes to accommodate the live video feeds, and could debut the offering as soon as 2017. http://bloom.bg/1rvx8BW
Kohls Apple Pay integration with loyalty program
Kohl's customers are now able to pay for their purchases with Kohl's Charge and simultaneously earn loyalty program Yes2You Rewards in conjunction with Apple Pay. The service is currently available in approximately 250 Kohl's stores and is expected to be in all Kohl's stores nationwide later this month, making Kohl's the first retailer to deliver a one-tap checkout that integrates both its private credit card as a form of payment and a loyalty program with Apple Pay. http://yhoo.it/21wEUI6
AirMap iOS app for drone operators
Provider of airspace information and services for unmanned aircraft AirMap announced today the release of the AirMap app for iOS and Apple Watch. Operators can now access low-altitude airspace advisories, create flights, file digital flight notices to over 80 airports, and manage unmanned aircraft. Building on the success of AirMap's Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS), the AirMap app brings to iOS devices a fully integrated airspace management solution for recreational and commercial drone operators. The app is free. http://apple.co/21wCadD