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Archive for May, 2013

Kinect Drivers for PC Available, But Where Is Kinect For The PC?

Leap Motion Comes Close To Gesture Recognition For PCs

Microsoft has announced the next evolution of its Xbox gaming platform, the Xbox One. The Xbox One will bring gesture-based and voice-based control to gaming in a way that no other platform has done to date. The Xbox One offers more than just gaming. It offers a single pathway to television, Internet and gaming – all in one device. Among all of the Xbox One hype, there is still some hope for PC users who are looking to integrate gesture-recognition into their gameplay. Windows drivers for the Kinect were released long ago, but the question for PC gamers remains: where is Kinect?

Gesture Recognition Isn’t As Simple As Having The Right Drivers

Part of the Kinect experience is being able to control gameplay using your body instead of a separate hardware device or controller. The Kinect was designed to read body movements from across the room. PC gamers aren’t like console gamers in that respect; most PC gamers are sitting right in front of their PC. Not exactly the sweet spot for gesture recognition.

The question most PC gamers have is, “How can gesture recognition technology based on the Kinect be incorporated into the PC gaming experience?” It’s a question that has yet to be answered successfully in terms of products on the market.

It’s pretty clear that the Kinect – at least in the form you see it in the stores – won’t be integrated into the PC for gaming purposes anytime soon, but the concept of gesture recognition may be closer than some gamers realize. The trick will be developing gesture recognition software (and hardware) that focuses primarily on the user’s hands and works in close proximity to the game console.

Gesture recognition is a stable of mobile devices. But mobile devices have the benefit of having the user’s hand making significant contact with a touch-screen on a mobile device. A Kinect-based technology for PC’s probably wouldn’t be a touchscreen affair. So what might it look like?

The Leap Motion controller has been much talked about as a potential answer to the question of device control in a small, short-distance 3D space. Earlier this month, Double Fine exhibited Dropchord, an app designed for the Leap Motion controller, which is supposed to debut in July.
It remains to be seen how intuitive the controller will be for the user, and what level of skill is required to make the controller work. But it’s a first step toward gesture control for PC games, and may provide an answer to the “Kinect” question for the PC platform.

Photo Credit: Leap Motion

Microsoft Says Windows 8 Sales On Pace With Windows 7

Microsoft Says Windows 8 Sales On Pace With Windows 7

Recently, Microsoft announced that sales of its new Windows 8 operating system were keeping pace with the sales activities of its predecessor, Windows 7 in the first six months following the launch of each product. Before anyone starts popping champagne corks, it’s helpful to remember that sales are just one measure of the OS’s commercial success. Other elements, like the availability of hardware drivers and compatible hardware sales are also important.

Installed User Base Is The Magic Metric

For most analysts, the big question isn’t, “How many people are buying Windows 8?” but rather, “How many people are using Windows 8?” It’s helpful to remember that Windows 8 licenses are coming with virtually all newly purchased PCs, but that the largest consumers of the OS – commercial customers – are much slower to install and use an OS.

When you look at usage versus sales, Windows XP and Windows 7 still each have a larger active user base than does Windows 8, but that doesn’t mean Windows 8 can’t be considered a commercial success. Windows 8, unlike Windows 7, was designed to meet the needs of mobile device users. The millions of desktop users aren’t in any significant hurry to replace their operating systems, and those who are ready to make the jump are most likely to migrate to Windows 7 for desktop devices.

Windows 8 works just fine on desktops, by the way. Despite the loads of features built in for mobile devices, Windows 8 still has a lot to offer the not-so-mobile user. One of the biggest shifts the user will need to make with Windows 8 is navigation.

Windows 8 doesn’t look like Windows 7 and doesn’t act like Windows 7 (and earlier versions of the OS) in many ways. Gone are things like the Start button – a feature which caused a lot of uproar itself when it was first introduced.

Windows 8 presents the user with “tiles” that make perfect navigational sense on a mobile device, but may not help out the desktop user all that much. Again, if you’re accustomed to the traditional Windows navigation experience, Windows 8 will definitely take some getting used to.

You will find a growing number of hardware drivers for Windows 8, and you’ll also be pleased to find that some of your Windows 7 drivers will oblige a Windows 8 installation with ease. Windows 8 takes a lot of Windows 7 along for the ride, so getting past the initial navigation switch will help reveal a device that works in much the same way it always has!

For driver management, Driver Detective offers a Windows 8 version that can help you keep your Windows 8 device completely updated in terms of hardware drivers. Driver Detective for Windows 8 provides the exact same protections that earlier versions do, and can help keep you Windows 8 device running flawlessly! If you’ve migrated to Windows 8, take your driver management software along for the ride! Download and install a copy of Driver Detective for Windows 8 today!

Photo Credit: Ceo1O17, via Flickr