Microsoft Kinect 2 may monitor emotions, read lips

Today you can use your Kinect to control a movie or play games using voice and gestures, but the device may soon be able to detect emotions and read lips as well. Reportedly, the next generation Kinect, presumably dubbed the Kinect 2, will be able to monitor a user’s mood by combining facial expressions with the volume and pitch of the user’s voice. Eyebrow and mouth movements are already supported through Microsoft’s Avatar Kinect software, but the technology is limited and is a fraction of what is possible. Eurogamer explained new Kinect hardware will be required because the current USB interface is too slow for the new emotion and lip sync capabilities. While Kinect currently serves as an Xbox 360 accessory, Microsoft has much bigger plans for the device. The firm recently added Windows 8 support to its Kinect development kit and full Windows 8 support is expected sometime next year. In addition, the Redmond-based company is reportedly working with partners on Kinect-enabled televisions that could go head-to-head with Apple’s rumored Siri-enabled HDTV.

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