Kinect Specs Out in the Wild

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According to Kotaku, the technical specifications for the Xbox 360’s Kinect add-on may have been outed by a British retailer. Here’s a list of what all is in there and what that stuff can do:

Colour and depth-sensing lenses
Voice microphone array
Tilt motor for sensor adjustment
Fully compatible with existing Xbox 360 consoles

Field of View
Horizontal field of view: 57 degrees
Vertical field of view: 43 degrees
Physical tilt range: ± 27 degrees
Depth sensor range: 1.2m – 3.5m

Data Streams
320×240 16-bit depth @ 30 frames/sec
640×480 32-bit colour@ 30 frames/sec
16-bit audio @ 16 kHz

Skeletal Tracking System
Tracks up to 6 people, including 2 active players
Tracks 20 joints per active player
Ability to map active players to LIVE Avatars

Audio System
LIVE party chat and in-game voice chat (requires Xbox LIVE Gold Membership)
Echo cancellation system enhances voice input
Speech recognition in multiple

Some things that stand out for me are Avatar syncing to active players and the tracking of six people (with the caveat of two active players). Playthroughs of Kinect Adventures at E3 were synced to pre-made Avatars and that was fun if a bit weird. And if Kinect can track six people, what’s it doing with that data? Will that be available to developers to use in some sort of way?

Peter has speculated about whether Microsoft might be gimping Kinect. Looking at the above list, I’m having a slightly different reaction. Of course, there’ll be hiccups in growing the capabilities of Kinect. Rather than be disheartened by all the functionality that users won’t be getting at launch, I’m choosing to read these specs as a sign of the potential to be unlocked. I’m still a bit skeptical about Kinect, but if it can do more than what we’ve seen, then it might grow into something even more incredible.