Microsoft to sell $25 Xbox One Media Remote in March

Xbox One owners will soon be able to buy a Media Remote to handle the entertainment on their consoles.

Slated to arrive in early March, the Xbox One Media Remote will let console users direct the playback of Blu-ray discs as well as streaming video, Microsoft said on Thursday. Dedicated Back and OneGuide buttons will offer access to TV shows and movies listed on the Xbox One's program guide.

Xbox One users will also be able to use the Media Remote on their TVs to control the power and volume through Kinect, which can talk directly to your TV … Read more

Xbox One to score multiplayer update, stereo headset

Xbox One owners can look forward to more software updates and a dedicated headset coming on the market in March.

Described in a Microsoft blog on Tuesday, an update gearing up for early March touts improvements to the console's multiplayer and party features. Xbox corporate Vice President Marc Whitten said that Microsoft listened to user feedback in fashioning the latest enhancements.

A list of your Xbox friends will appear on the home page of the Friends app for easier access. You then can see who's online and pick the people you want to contact. Party chat will be … Read more

Microsoft's Kinect recruited as Korean border guard

Microsoft's Kinect now has an overseas job, though it doesn't sound too glamorous.

A Kinect-based software system designed by South Korean programmer Jae Kwan Ko has been assigned border guard duty at the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas, Kotaku reported on Monday, citing Korean news site Hankooki. The system's job is to identify any living thing that tries to cross the border and determine if it's human or animal. If it's a human, then the system alerts the authorities.… Read more

Microsoft may add Kinect-like detection to Surface Mini

Owners of the much-rumored Surface Mini may be able to control the tablet via face and hand recognition. At least, that's the latest tidbit served up by Chinese blog site WPDang.

Pointing to information from an anonymous news source, WPDang said that the Surface Mini will adopt the same type of somatosensory technology used in Microsoft's Kinect. That means the tablet would be able to recognize and react to your face and hand movements. The source also claims that the feature would work more smoothly than the gesture capability currently offered on Samsung's Galaxy S4 and Note … Read more

Microsoft artist taps Kinect, Bing as his chosen media

At Microsoft Research Redmond -- one of 13 labs worldwide, with locations from Beijing and Banglaore to Cairo and Cambridge -- there exists Studio 99, an art space that mashes up data and coding with creative expression. It was a perfect place for James George, a computer scientist turned NYU video art professor, to embark on a three-month stint doing whatever he liked with the tools and staff available at one of the most advanced technology playgrounds on the planet.

"The first week I was here, I really had no plan," George explained in a Microsoft Research interview. &… Read more

Low Latency No. 83: Can you hear me now?

Low Latency is a weekly comic on CNET's Crave blog written by CNET editor and podcast host Jeff Bakalar and illustrated by Blake Stevenson. Be sure to check Crave every week for new panels! Want more? Here's every Low Latency comic so far.… Read more

Wave fingers, make faces: The future of computing at Intel

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- If the next big wave in devices turns out to be gestures and eye tracking, Intel wants to be ready.

Intel is the king of PCs, but it hasn't always been ahead of evolving innovations. Its processors power more than 80 percent of the world's computers and the vast majority of its servers, but Intel has made little headway in smartphones and tablets. To spur interest in PCs again, as well as persuade more mobile device makers to use its chips, Intel has devoted significant resources and efforts to something it calls "perceptual … Read more

Xbox One, you're not making my family life easier

My Xbox One may not stay connected to my cable box very long.

In a year's time, the Xbox One might be the ultimate TV-connected entertainment box on the planet. But at the moment, it's sitting awkwardly between my cable DVR and my TV -- where it's causing some tension among the TV viewers in my household.

There are a lot of good ideas lurking within the potential of what Microsoft's newest Xbox can be: a smart home hub, an entertainment do-everything machine. But they're mixed with unfortunate downsides. And, at the moment, from what … Read more

The 404 1,391: Where we feel the endowment effect (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Kanye West said Zappos sells "sh*t product," and this is their awesome response.

- Kano Computer kit lets anyone build a PC from scratch.

- It's official. Fewer people are watching TV and the numbers prove it.

- Why you're more likely to buy something when shopping on your iPad.… Read more

Use the Xbox One and Kinect sensor as a universal remote

Voice commands are a large part of what makes the Xbox One unique, the other, of course, being its deep TV integration. Both of these features utilize the new Kinect sensor, which Microsoft bundled with the Xbox One; a decision that resulted in a $100 premium over the PlayStation 4.

In addition to supporting facial recognition and gestures, the accessory can be used to navigate the console's user interface, open games and apps, and even control your TV, cable box, and home theater system using only your voice.

Here's how you can set up the Xbox One as … Read more