As I've discussed in a number of past news writeups, Microsoft has now broadened its vision for the Kinect 3-D camera (and microphone array) system beyond its Xbox 360 game console origins to also encompass computer interfaces, thereby formalizing a relationship that existed from Kinect's earliest days courtesy of the hacker community.
On Sunday evening (just a half hour beyond 4 days away, as I type this, in fact), NASA's latest Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL, aka "Curiosity"), will hopefully navigate to a successful landing on the Red Planet (PDF). The 11-minute video above, brought to you by the JPLnews YouTube channel, depicts key events in the rover's planned mission. As you can see, the landing (far from the rest of the rover's assignment) is no "walk in the park" (or if you prefer, rock garden).
Last November, rumors began circulating in cyberspace regarding the next-generation Microsoft Kinect peripheral...that it would be, for example, accurate enough to read the lips of people sitting in front of it, along with delivering improved motion tracking and voice recognition (the latter by virtue of the camera peripheral's integrated microphone array), and being "able to tell what direction the player is facing" (but can't it already do that?).
It seems like just last week that I was mentioning, in a Kinect-themed introductory letter to the Embedded Vision Insights newsletter, that version 1.5 of the Kinect for Windows SDK was queued up for release by month end. Actually, it was just last week.
Remember the Samsung image sensor-inclusive televisions that I first mentioned in early January, with a follow-up blurb last Friday? Well, thanks to a Slashdot heads-up earlier today, I've got even more to say...and it's disturbing, to say the least.
Back at the end of January, I told you about Making Things See: 3D Vision With Kinect, Processing, Arduino, and MakerBot, a new book published by O'Reilly. My review copy arrived about a week ago, but I admittedly haven't found sufficient spare cycles to crack it open yet, far from give it a proper perusal and review. Until I do, I hope the information that follows will whet your appetite.
Steve Ballmer's CES-officially-opening keynote is under way as I type this, but thanks to the liveblogs of folks such as Engadget and The Verge (not to mention the Microsoft-served live video stream), I'm able to keep up even though I'm not in attendance in Las Vegas.