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Sky and Microsoft Announce Xbox Kinect Integration


Sky and Microsoft Announce Xbox Kinect Integration

Sky and Microsoft have announced that users will be able to control the Xbox 360 Sky Player service using the upcoming Kinect motion control system. Owners will be able to move through channels just using hand gestures or via voice control.

“Selecting a favourite show, changing live channels, or easily scrolling forward and back through on-demand content is all made possible by a simple wave of a hand”, Sky said in a statement.

Sky Player offers on demand TV and movies via a computer and arrived on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console in late May.

The ability to select and control your TV viewing with a wave of the hand is something straight out of the Minority Report school of futurism, and this sort of use is likely to raise the interest in the system to an audience who otherwise might be unimpressed with the ability to surfboard in your room.

It’s also interesting that Kinect will be getting an innovative use ahead of the US, which has no equivalent offering at launch.

Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect system will be released in the UK on 10 November for £129.99.


September 27, 2010, 3:55 pm

I like the Kinect. I really do. But this news (which is great), comes slightly tainted.

I have heard and read (but please correct me if I am wrong), that only a "new" Xbox can connect with a single cable to the Kinect. I own an Xbox 360 Elite (one of the original ones), and it appears from my research that I will require two cables, one just to connect it, and one to power it as well.

I know that tech moves on, but this is still a pain. More importantly, I know a significant amount of owners of this kind of kit, will have wall mounted their TV's. From an aesthetic point of view, it's frustrating that to use the Kinect, I will have to completely reinstall all my cabling, or run wires everywhere (which kind of elminates the wall mounting point in the first place).

I've managed to buy a wireless Wii bar, which I can just use with batteries. But as the Kinect appears to need to connect to the Xbox, it seems that even this won't be possible. Annoying.


September 27, 2010, 4:43 pm

@Radioegg. I have considered waiting for this but you've got me worried about the cabling as my TV is wall-mounted too. Will it work with the Kinect camera under the TV?


September 27, 2010, 6:22 pm

The Kinect camera is (reportedly) more than just a simple USB webcam and as a result, it requires more power than a standard 5-Volt USB connector can supply.

The new Xbox (a.k.a. 'The Stealth Box') gets around this with a custom connector to handle both the data *and* the increased power needed.

I guess Microsoft could've offered a dual USB connector (as used on many portable 2.5" USB hard drives) - but then other users would've complained that they can't plug many other peripherals in at the same time... and may have jeopardised fascinating possibilities such as a RockBand + Kinect mash-up at some future time.

How else is RockBand going to know when I'm spinning my drum sticks in the air, or doing the splits during a moving guitar solo?



September 28, 2010, 2:46 am

Can this really be less effort than changing the channel with a conventional remote? Let's see... waving my entire arm versus a tiny impulse in my thumb. Splitting degrees of couch potato-y-ness, I know, but I just don't get why this is a good application for Kinect


September 28, 2010, 1:46 pm

@BluePork - there's a lot of Marketing Kudos in being able to offer 'the future today'. The seamingly sci-fi ability to control technology without touching anything will seem like magic to anyone who doesn't keep up with technology (most of the general population then!).

So - like you say... it's not a brilliant application, but it is one that a company like Sky can harness to position themselves as 'innovators', through their association with new new tech (in this case Kinect).

Or in a nutshell - Sky is hoping that the cool-factor of something new might rub off on them and their public image.

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