Purported Kinect 2 image leaks onto Twitter

It's widely believed that Microsoft is working on a new Kinect motion-gaming peripheral for its next console. And now, an image claiming to showcase that device's image quality has leaked onto the Web.

Twitter user SuperDaE yesterday posted what is claimed to be image of the Kinect 2 in action. The image shows an adult and child standing next to each other and includes far greater detail and depth recognition than what is available in the first-generation Kinect.

According to SuperDaE, the leaked image was captured from Microsoft's "Durango" development kit. It's believed that … Read more

Leap Motion: Gesture tech's come-hither allure

Developers eager to be among the first to create applications for Leap Motion's new gesture control system think it could be used to auto-translate sign language.

That was among the details the company released this morning about the initial round of requests from developers to design tools that work with the Leap -- technology that lets users control what's on their computers with hundredth of a millimeter accuracy with nothing more than their fingers or their hands.

The San Francisco company said that in the two months since pulling back the wraps on the Leap, more than 26,… Read more

Smart trash can catches your garbage for you

A Japanese inventor appears to have put an awful lot of effort into enabling laziness. A modder going by the handle of "FRP" looks to have designed a mobile wastebasket that can ambulate around to catch any falling (preferably with a high arc) trash you toss in its general direction.

FRP replaced the bottom of the can with some wheels attached to something similar to an Arduino board. On the other end of the system is a wall-mounted Kinect that watches for flying debris, calculates the landing spot, and then sends the can to catch the garbage like an outfielder going after some rookie's pop-up.… Read more

Get a refurbished Xbox Kinect for $59.99

If you haven't yet had the pleasure of flailing your body in front of your TV set, here's your chance to do it on the cheap.

I'm talking about the Xbox Kinect, of course, the motion-sensing camera system that "turns your body into the controller" for various games. I don't mind telling you, it's a blast.

And it's on sale! For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the refurbished Xbox Kinect for $59.99 shipped (plus sales tax where applicable).

A quick caveat before I go on: unlike … Read more

Watch guy's date with augmented-reality girlfriend

Why is it that all the geeks of the universe haven't just up and relocated to Japan by now? The latest demonstration that the island nation is a nerd utopia comes in this video of one man's real-world "date" with a programmed augmented-reality girlfriend.

Using a Microsoft Kinect, AR goggles, and some other sensors, the unidentified man in the video goes to the park with a digital representation of virtual pop star Hatsune Miku. Yes, they have virtual pop idols in Japan, too -- it's kind of like if Max Headroom and Katy Perry somehow managed to get together and reproduce a singing anime hologram.… Read more

Trouble with Google, RIM and Nic Cage

Google, Canadians and Nic Cage. Tuesday's top tech stories are nuthin' but trouble.

Google may pay a record $22.5 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle a charge over a privacy violation made public six months ago. Google is accused of exploiting a loophole around user privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser. And the Wall Street Journal says this would be the largest penalty a single company has been asked to pay to the FTC. The Journal first brought the issue to light and exposed how Google used a code to get around privacy controls. Ad … Read more

Kinect PlayFit counts your calories as you play Kinect games

Xbox Kinect users can now see how many calories they're actually shedding as they jump, dance, and shake to their favorite games.

Available today as a free download for Xbox Live subscribers, Kinect PlayFit is a fitness dashboard that counts the calories you burn as you play certain Kinect games, including Dance Central 2, Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012, and even Kinect Star Wars.

You can also follow your calorie count over time to see how much you're losing as you do the Zumba or swing that lightsaber.

You can even get credit depending on how many calories … Read more

Turns out Kinect is for fashionistas and surgeons, too

REDMOND, Wash. -- Anyone who's ever tried on a pair of pants, a blouse, or a skirt can testify to the challenge of finding the right size. Medium doesn't always mean the same thing to every company.

"The industry is designing for an ideal body shape that is not us," says Raj Sareen, chief executive and founder of Styku, a Los Angeles-based company that's using Microsoft's Kinect motion-sensing video game controller to solve the problem.

The 1-year-old, nine-employee company has developed a product that uses Kinect to scan a body in three seconds to … Read more

Rumor Has It: Is the Kindle Fire 2 really dropping next month? (video)

Our big rumor of the week is directly related to Google, so thankfully Karyne made it back in town just in time to witness the Google Glass-wearing skydivers jump from a dirigible into Google I/O. Wait, what? Whoa!

Before the keynote went off on a crazed adventure sports tangent, Google announced a new product: the new Nexus 7 tablet running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and selling for the small sum of $199. What else sells for that? Oh right, the Kindle Fire.

So this leads us to the question: is Amazon now feeling the pressure to update its … Read more

Kinect in the car? It's coming

Microsoft placed a want ad for a software engineer with its Connected Car QA team to aid in the development and testing of the next-generation connected car platform. Based on the job description on Microsoft's Web site, it looks like the technology giant has embedded every product it offers in the dash:

For the next generation of the Connected Car Platform, we plan to leverage the full power of the Microsoft ecosystem including Kinect, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Live, Bing, Azure, and Tellme. The combination of rich local sensing, user identification, cloud access, and data mining will transform … Read more