Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 13th Aug 2013 12:58 UTC
Games Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten:

That said, like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor.

The Xbox One used to require Kinect. Now it doesn't. Good move, obviously, but it does raise the question: whatever the hell was this company thinking? Microsoft really seems to have lost all its marbles - Windows 8, Windows Phone, and now Xbox One. Messy, messy, messy.

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v Yes
by peteo on Tue 13th Aug 2013 13:26 UTC
Desperation
by franksands on Tue 13th Aug 2013 13:26 UTC
franksands
Member since:
2009-08-18

This is what it looks like to me. First they thought people would buy XBO no matter what they tried to push. Now after the gargantuan backlash they received, they are removing everything people complained, trying to look like nothing happened.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Desperation
by ilovebeer on Fri 16th Aug 2013 16:04 UTC in reply to "Desperation"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

This is what it looks like to me. First they thought people would buy XBO no matter what they tried to push. Now after the gargantuan backlash they received, they are removing everything people complained, trying to look like nothing happened.

People tend to have short memories with stuff like this. With the always-on and kinetic requirements removed, as long as there are good games for the Xbox One, most people aren't going to be thinking or talking about any of this and will be reveling in gaming bliss.

Reply Score: 3

ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

About the future? I'd love to have my PC automatically log me in though my webcam. To have my PC remind me to sit better at my desk.

We're at Kinect 1.0, this is why it still sucks.

The only 2 faults I have with it is why does it need to have 2 versions (one for XBox and one for PC) and why is it humongous? There are phones/tablets waiting for such a device.

Reply Score: 2

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

About the future? I'd love to have my PC automatically log me in though my webcam. To have my PC remind me to sit better at my desk.


If you're on Linux, there's already a plugin that'll do the first of those things using any old webcam:

https://code.google.com/p/pam-face-authentication/

Reply Score: 10

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

I've read how some solution for it was tricked by a simple photo.

Reply Score: 4

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

About the future? I'd love to have my PC automatically log me in though my webcam.


Would you love having your PC preventing you from logging in without a webcam?

Reply Score: 9

Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

Well obviously there would be good old password fallback, it just logins and wakes up the second you sit on your chair. Which is nice.

Reply Score: 2

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

"About the future? I'd love to have my PC automatically log me in though my webcam.


Would you love having your PC preventing you from logging in without a webcam?
"

Yes, that's a reasonable assumption, given that existing computers with smart card readers/fingerprint scanners don't offer ANY other way to login... oh, wait.

Reply Score: 3

Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

About the future? I'd love to have my PC automatically log me in though my webcam.



That sounds like the future of getting your account broken into. Don't want your kids watching your porn? all it'll take it them snapping your picture on their tablet and holding said tablet in front of the webcam and now they are in your account spanking it.

Reply Score: 3

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

That sounds like the future of getting your account broken into. Don't want your kids watching your porn? all it'll take it them snapping your picture on their tablet and holding said tablet in front of the webcam and now they are in your account spanking it.


First, ew. No need to be so graphic.

Second, the Kinect at least does 3d mapping, so it can tell the difference between a face and a picture of a face.

Now, if your kid takes up sculpture, be wary.

Reply Score: 5

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,

"Second, the Kinect at least does 3d mapping, so it can tell the difference between a face and a picture of a face."

Actually it's stereoscopic. Assuming the xbox cares about both angles for identity, then you'd need to supply two slightly offset pictures. Both pictures could probably be displayed on one tablet and held up in front of both cameras. This may raise the bar somewhat, but once there is an app for it, game over ;)

Sorta reminds me of Commander Data impersonating Captain Picard.

Reply Score: 2

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

I doubt the Kinect sensors can focus near enough for that to work. You'd have to have two images taken at the correct angle and place it close enough so each sensor perceives the overlap correctly.

It'd just be easier to bypass parental controls, which is usually pretty simple.

Also,

1 7 3 4 6 7 3 2 1 4 7 6 Charlie 3 2 7 8 9 7 7 7 6 4 3 Tango 7 3 2 Victor 7 3 1 1 7 8 8 8 7 3 2 4 7 6 7 8 9 7 6 4 3 7 6

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually it's stereoscopic.


No, actually Kinect 1.0 used a projected infrared light map and a single infrared camera to determine depth, while Kinect 2.0 will use infrared time-of-flight technology, which also requires just a single infrared sensor.

Reply Score: 5

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Moochman,

"No, actually Kinect 1.0 used a projected infrared light map and a single infrared camera to determine depth, while Kinect 2.0 will use infrared time-of-flight technology, which also requires just a single infrared sensor."

Good to know, however it's still comprised of two cameras. From the information at hand, I'm not even sure if the Kinect 1 specifically had an IR camera, or was it a regular camera with the IR filter removed to reduce costs. Most "regular" cameras are already sensitive to IR with IR filters removed, see link below:

http://www.technolabsz.com/2012/07/kinect-ir-pattern-captured-using...


I'm curious what the spacial/temporal resolutions might be on the Kinect 2 sensor. Do you know? I wonder if a simple paper cutout would do the trick.

http://www.joystiq.com/2010/06/19/kinect-how-it-works-from-the-comp...

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

however it's still comprised of two cameras.

Right, one for RGB and one for infrared. However, since all depth information comes solely from the infrared camera, you can't "trick" the system by holding up two 2D images of your face. A 3D mask of your face might do the trick.

While you're right that most cameras can see infrared by default, it's not enough to simply remove the infrared filter -- in fact, all the human-visible higher frequency light needs to be filtered out. Otherwise the non-infrared portion of the image would obscure the infrared and it wouldn't be able to properly see the projected infrared light map. In all likelihood it's a monochrome sensor with an infrared band-pass filter on it.

See this video if you want to get a better understand how the Kinect 1 works:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq9SEJxZiUg

I'm curious what the spacial/temporal resolutions might be on the Kinect 2 sensor. Do you know? I wonder if a simple paper cutout would do the trick.


The Kinext 2's depth resolution is according to various sources either the same or greater than the Kinect 1's 11 bits per pixel (2,048 depth levels), and it will have a framerate of 30fps. However, the width/height resolution has increased from 320x240 to 512x424, plus better optics to support both a wider field of view and support for standing closer to the sensor. They claim to even be able to detect hand posture now, but from what I've seen it's still unreliable; a higher res depth feed would be needed to really tackle that, but then the price and processing power needed would likely skyrocket...

If you're interested in seeing some of the neat tricks the new Kinect has up its sleeve take a look at this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi5kMNfgDS4

As you'll note in the video, the Kinect 2 features (software-based) heart-rate detection based on minute fluctuations in skin color, so it's unlikely that even a 3D mask would be able to trick it (assuming it uses that feature for face authentication).

Edited 2013-08-17 12:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

No surprise there
by TADS on Tue 13th Aug 2013 13:49 UTC
TADS
Member since:
2010-11-01

Because, you know, users's opinions are important to Microsoft:

http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=322

Reply Score: 7

May I just say...
by silviucc on Tue 13th Aug 2013 13:56 UTC
silviucc
Member since:
2009-12-05

Ha! Hahahaha!

Ok, now that I got that out of my system, I agree that it's a good move. People are freaked out over the NSA spying and MS and those guys being buds does not help.

Now I shall wait for the fanboys that will tell us how stupid people are for not letting MS bring "the future" into their homes.

We already have enough crap that spies on us (our phones for example) I think the future needs less of that.

Reply Score: 7

PS4
by liamdawe on Tue 13th Aug 2013 14:30 UTC
liamdawe
Member since:
2006-07-04

Again this is why I am going for the PS4 everything up until now has been clear as day they have made sure of that. It also has higher specifications than the xbox and it's cheaper to buy. The online is cheaper too. Why would anyone want an xbone is beyond me.

Reply Score: 3

RE: PS4
by WereCatf on Tue 13th Aug 2013 15:04 UTC in reply to "PS4"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

After all the bullshit Sony has pulled in the past I would find it quite difficult to trust them anymore. Especially the whole thing with OtherOS was a perfect example of how they're willing to totally screw over their customers, but there are plenty of other examples in the past, too. I agree that Sony has done well so far wrt. the PS4, but I just would be just as wary of them as I would be of Microsoft.

Reply Score: 4

RE: PS4
by lucas_maximus on Tue 13th Aug 2013 15:22 UTC in reply to "PS4"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Sony's being less shitty (BTW the prices outside the US are considerably more expensive as per usual) and the fact they are going to charge you for online play now (which was free) and I expect there will be more crappy DLC bollox, doesn't mean they are Angels.

http://thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=e3_wrapup_2013


Console Specs at the moment I don't think are that important and never really hurt the Xbox 360 or the PS3 at the time. Even Crysis 3 on my PC barely takes over 2GB of ram and that is running everything at ultra at 1650x1080.

Edited 2013-08-13 15:25 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: PS4
by bnolsen on Tue 13th Aug 2013 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE: PS4"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Sony has the luxury of just shutting the hell up while MS self destructs. They're getting tons of free marketing and press this way.

Wierd, MS rose to dominance because of the incompetence of the other market players in the 80s and early 90s. Now they seem to have mastered the art of incompetency themselves.

Edited 2013-08-13 23:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: PS4
by lucas_maximus on Wed 14th Aug 2013 07:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PS4"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Sony has the luxury of just shutting the hell up while MS self destructs. They're getting tons of free marketing and press this way.


The fact is that most people don't have the imagination to see the possibilities with the Xbox One.

The always on kinect being used for spying by some nefarious government agency/corporation has always seemed ridiculous ... they would probably get bored of me exercising on my Turbo Trainer and gradually falling asleep while watching netflix then getting woken up by cat scratching the window to get in.

I kinda liked the idea that I could use it for skype calls (I am an expat), a media centre and a games console. It everything my Asus Revo is doing at the moment.

There were several things it did that I really wanted, I don't live in an area where shops even bother selling second hand games, and I don't see it significantly different than Steam (and I am not even going to debate that point on here because I know everyone will point out the minor differences while pretending to forget the idea is exactly the same and Sony is already doing the same on the PS3!).

Wierd, MS rose to dominance because of the incompetence of the other market players in the 80s and early 90s. Now they seem to have mastered the art of incompetency themselves.


It isn't incompetence. The company in the 80s and 90s was smaller and more focused on what it wanted to do.

They aren't dominating in new emerging market where the rules are completely different. Microsoft does well in corporations and are geared up for that. Blackberry is/was also geared up mainly for corporations and they are failing in the same market.

Edited 2013-08-14 07:31 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: PS4
by tonny on Wed 14th Aug 2013 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PS4"
tonny Member since:
2011-12-22

For spying, say, what if some black hat hacker, dunno how, can break the system security and take control of ones camera. And no less than when ones enjoying their time with their partner, like this one: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/03/rat-breeders-meet-the-me...

Plus, there's person that hate to be in 'voyeur' ;)

Edited 2013-08-14 16:51 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: PS4
by lucas_maximus on Wed 14th Aug 2013 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: PS4"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It could happen, but tbh the platform is going to be quite locked down, it isn't like a regular PC where the user can easily open themselves up to a number of attack vectors.

I would say it is low risk, others would disagree. You have to use your own judgement. If you are that worried about that sort of thing you could always put something over the lens to obscure it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: PS4
by bnolsen on Wed 14th Aug 2013 19:41 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: PS4"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

seems like being locked down and having possibilities aren't exactly compatible depending on what you mean by "possibilities" (like great possibilities for MS to squeeze more money from the customers the control???)

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: PS4
by lucas_maximus on Wed 14th Aug 2013 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: PS4"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

That wasn't what I was responding to, in the reply to me you just made.

How about you actually respond to my points, that I made in my original response.

Anyway as that is unlikely to happen. The features of the upcoming Xbox are useful if you find them as such. If they aren't for you, you are unlikely to be interested.

Instead of being a dick, how about we have a discussion?!

Edited 2013-08-14 20:13 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Microsoft has master marketeers
by libray on Tue 13th Aug 2013 15:11 UTC
libray
Member since:
2005-08-27

I don't doubt that there were versions of the Xbox One plan that included required internet and kinect, but both of those implementations are easily coded in or out.

The masterful plan has had people still talking about the Xbox One months before its release. And all over, I'm seeing comments with sentiments such as
"Now I can buy one"
"Glad they did it"
"If they didn't do this, I was going to PS4"

Reply Score: 4

RE: Microsoft has master marketeers
by Wafflez on Tue 13th Aug 2013 15:58 UTC in reply to "Microsoft has master marketeers"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

I'm still going with PS4. Now if next month Microsoft announces that there will be like "basic" versions without the kinect - hello Halo!

Reply Score: 3

Still going to avoid it...
by jnemesh on Tue 13th Aug 2013 17:50 UTC
jnemesh
Member since:
2008-04-08

I own both a 360 and a PS3 currently. I will NOT be doing that with this generation. I was hesitant when I first heard of the Xbox One....the new TV centric features leave me absolutely cold, as I am looking to ditch "traditional" TV completely, and having cable box control with NO integrated CableCard, and no integrated DVR just seems like a kludge...and a huge step back.

The used games fiasco had me concerned at the amount of power MS and the publishers were trying to grab...but realistically, it wouldnt have hurt me THAT much, as I typically buy online anyway...and don't trade in games. That being said, I was still concerned at the blatant power grab, all of it benefiting the publishers, and none benefiting the users.

The final straw was the Kinect requirement. I would NEVER trust Microsoft to protect my privacy. They were the FIRST to sign up for the NSA's PRISM program, and I have ZERO confidence that they would not abuse an internet connected camera in user's living rooms!

So now, they have pulled the Xbox 180 on all of this, backing off every single controversial policy. And they say "Trust Us!". NO THANKS. I have no confidence that they won't try to pull this shit again, and I am not giving them the opportunity. They have shown us just how much they "value" customer feedback (see Windows 8.1, Windows Phone for examples)...and I just don't trust them any more. I don't want to, and I don't have to. I am taking my business elsewhere.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Still going to avoid it...
by res0r9lm on Tue 13th Aug 2013 19:08 UTC in reply to "Still going to avoid it..."
res0r9lm Member since:
2013-08-13

Microsoft's involvement in NSA isn't nothing new. NSA have been given a backdoor into every windows computer for years. They even have their own key to encrypted files.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Still going to avoid it...
by ilovebeer on Fri 16th Aug 2013 16:00 UTC in reply to "Still going to avoid it..."
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Your mistake is trusting any of these companies to begin with. You can't trust Sony any more than you can trust Microsoft so don't be so naive.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 13th Aug 2013 17:50 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Microsoft will learn the hard way, that DRM is no the way to go.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by shmerl
by ilovebeer on Fri 16th Aug 2013 17:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Sorry to break it to you but DRM is inevitable.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 13th Aug 2013 18:54 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Microsoft seems to have been having a lot of "New Coke" moments lately. Just like how taste testing told the Coca Cola Co. that people like the flavor of New Coke better, everybody absolutely abhorred the change.

User and usability testing data showed that the new Metro stuff in Windows 8 was better/more liked. They turn it into a product, and people busted out the pitchforks and torches.

I'd imagine that something similar happened with Kinect functionality. Their testing showed that people preferred the Kinect over not having the Kinect, and they made the mistake of thinking that meant they always want it.

I suspect they were buoyed by their data-gathering success with Office and the Ribbon, but failed to learn that different products have different expectations, and require a different set of questions to be asked. With Kinect, the question is not "Do you prefer having Kinect over not having Kinect," but "Would you prefer Kinect over not having Kinect if it means you cannot turn Kinect off?"
Those would solicit very different answers.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Alfman on Tue 13th Aug 2013 20:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,

I agree with the new coke analogy. With respect to Windows 8 and XBox one user feedback groups, I wouldn't be surprised if there was alot of pressure from MS management to produce positive feedback for the directions they had already decided upon.

Reply Score: 4

FYI
by pan0k on Wed 14th Aug 2013 14:03 UTC
pan0k
Member since:
2013-06-05

Notice how the specs on the game consoles are never finalized. They just keep changing day by day. Even when the consoles are released, they are still changing. The biggest spec change so far is the PS3 with the ability to NOT boot into Other OS. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo can do what they want (like exposing your account information to the public) and you cannot do anything (like sue them).

Reply Score: 2

RE: FYI
by bnolsen on Wed 14th Aug 2013 19:42 UTC in reply to "FYI"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

the answer is: dont' do anything (as in giving any of them money).

Reply Score: 4