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Microsoft trailers Kinect’s sign-language capability

Friday, 19th July 2013 10:40 GMT By Dave Cook

Microsoft has released a new video that showcases current-gen Kinect’s ability to understand sign-language and transcribe it into text. The tech is currently proficient in American and Chinese, but has the potential to extend to other languages.

Gaming Target reports that Microsoft Research has tested the tech at its lab in Beijing and had this to say about the breakthrough:

“Kinect, with its ability to provide depth information and color data simultaneously, makes it easier to track hand and body actions more accurately—and quickly.

In this project—which is being shown during the demofest portion of faculty summit 2013, which brings more than 400 academic researchers to Microsoft headquarters to share insight into impactful research—the hand tracking leads to a process of 3-D motion-trajectory alignment and matching for individual words in sign language.

“The words are generated via hand tracking by the Konect for Windows software and then normalized, and matching scores are computed to identify the most relevant candidates when a signed word is analyzed.”

It’s a big step for those with impaired hearing, and it could be a useful tool for opening up Xbox and Windows to all users, regardless of impairments. What do you think?

Thanks OXM.

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21 Comments

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  1. KAP

    Pretty kool.

    I’m the first guy to Kinect is a pile of wank but I have to admit some of these apps for it will be interesting in a few years

    #1 12 months ago
  2. Pytox

    Kinect = creepy

    #2 12 months ago
  3. orakaa

    Mixed feelings about this.
    One one hand, it’s way faster to interact with a keyboard than with signs (if you want talk to someone who doesn’t understand signs for instance) and you could always Skype with another person with impaired hearing. So this might not be revolutionary for the moment.

    On the other hand, it’s a welcomed feature and advance that could pave the way for further advances for impaired hearing persons. And it’s nice to have some spotlight on this. A friend of mine is deaf and thanks to her I realize how most things in our society do not take that into account and make her life a bit difficult.

    #3 12 months ago
  4. OlderGamer

    But it is a game system … right?

    #4 12 months ago
  5. Pytox

    @4 no an entertainment device

    #5 12 months ago
  6. Digital Bamboo

    Impressive.

    #6 12 months ago
  7. MCTJim

    This is really cool. It gives those who cannot hear or speak the ability to use the XBox one. I like the idea of it being able to understand ASL. If they add all languages..that would be a huge feat indeed.

    #7 12 months ago
  8. bradk825

    I wonder if there will be an app to teach sign language. This shows the app will be able to tell you if you’re doing it right when you practice.

    @4 every time another app is reveal that isn’t for gaming, that does not take away from the fact that they have made lots of other improvements that are only for gaming. Just because the machine can do more, does not mean gamers are being left behind.

    The Kinect improvements will be funtional in games as well, the gaming DVR has been added, you can play games while installing or downloading them, the controller is improved, they had a whole list of exclusive titles coming out, and I could go on. So yes, it’s a gaming machine.

    I mean if you see Obama out riding a bike would you claim he’s not really a president, he’s a cyclist?

    #8 12 months ago
  9. Samoan Spider

    @2 Kinect = awesome tool in the right hands: http://dangerousprototypes.com/2011/03/30/mit-uses-kinect-on-quadcopter/

    Kinect games = great when pissed with friends over, but otherwise a bit shit

    Kinect voice control = technological showboating at its greatest when used with other people around, but otherwise rarely used unless the controller’s powered off and I can’t be arsed to fire it up in the middle of a movie

    Kinect = creepy? I’m sorry but I don’t see why?

    On topic, this is amazing. Proves they’ve got a lot more detail in their tracking this time around.

    #9 12 months ago
  10. monkeygourmet

    Needs more Finger Bang…

    #10 12 months ago
  11. OlderGamer

    MG +1 lol

    #11 12 months ago
  12. monkeygourmet

    @9

    Kinect 2.0 + Xbone having TV IN/OUT = Creepy

    Kinect 2.0 watching when you laugh or your heart rate raises while watching adverts / TV shows and sending that data back to Advertisers… Yeah, thats pretty shitty if you ask me…

    Everybody at home… Raise your hands to vote for Jean Paul on American Idol 2016! Hold up your Mountain Dew for an Achievment unlock! Woo! Yeh!

    #12 12 months ago
  13. Lengendaryboss

    @Monkey
    LOL Give yourself a cookie :)

    #13 12 months ago
  14. monkeygourmet

    @13

    :)

    #14 12 months ago
  15. bradk825

    Kinect sees a Sony controller in your hands = self destruct and displays “Fuck you” on the screen.

    #15 12 months ago
  16. Lengendaryboss

    @15
    And you get a cookie :)

    #16 12 months ago
  17. bradk825

    Awesome, that’s what I was going for.

    #17 12 months ago
  18. orakaa

    @15: HAHA :D

    #18 12 months ago
  19. bradk825

    I am thinking the next logical step is an app to be made that can teach you sign language and it can tell you if you’re doing it right.

    Which brings me to another idea. If the voice recognition is also greatly improved, how about one that can teach you french?

    #19 12 months ago
  20. ps3fanboy

    omg, this was worse than the kinect…

    #20 12 months ago
  21. fearmonkey

    @10 -lmao.. especially after reading the south park article,

    #21 12 months ago