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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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE