Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Camera Peripheral Launched; Features, Price & Dark Skin Trouble

November 4, 2010, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Microsoft has officially rolled out the Kinect camera peripheral for its Xbox 360. After months of ads everywhere, the company’s multi-million dollar motion sensing camera has finally hit the shelves. However,  latest reports  suggest  that the device may have trouble sensing dark skin.

The Xbox 360 Kinect uses a pair of cameras and a microphone to track whole-body gestures as well as recognize voice commands, bringing games and entertainment to life in extraordinary new ways without using a controller.

Kinect uses a motion sensor that tracks your entire body. So when you play, it’s not only about your hands and wrists. It’s about all of you. The peripheral creates a digital skeleton of you based on depth data. So when you move left or right or jump around, the sensor will capture it and put you in the game.

The device also comes equipped with four strategically placed microphones within the sensor to recognize and separate your voice from the other noises in the room, so you can control game movements and  more with your voice.

The Kinect ships in an add-on bundle with Kinect Adventures for $150 but can also be had in a 4GB Xbox 360 Arcade bundle for $300 and a 250GB version for $400.

Some reports suggest that Kinect is having problems with facial recognition while sensing some dark-skinned players, although skeletal tracking worked for all players. Kinect uses both a 640×480 main camera and a 320×240 monochrome camera for depth, the combination of which may make it harder to sense darker tones.

The company has claimed that the Kinect is designed to work properly for “all shapes and ethnicities”. Microsoft has asked to email xaccess@microsoft.com if anyone has  recognition problems.

You can learn more about the new product at the Xbox website. Check it out here and you are free to place your comments at the bottom of this page.

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