Xbox Kinect: How the voice recognition works

The audio system explained

How Xbox Kinect works | 1. Movement tracking | 2. Voice recognition | 3. The motor

The problem facing the microphone subsystem is that it needs to be sensitive to voices up to 10 feet away, while being able to ignore ambient noises and any sounds other than your voice. To solve this problem, the Microsoft lab went to 250 homes with 16 microphones and took a host of recordings from different setups, determining in the end the very best mic positioning.

The end result is an array of four downward-facing (so that the front of Kinect stays clean and grill-free) mics, spaced one on the left and three on the right. In fact, this specific microphone placement is the only reason why Kinect is as wide as it is.

This array works best at picking up voices at distance, but it still needs help. The onboard processing unit cancels out noise that it determines is coming from your beefy 5.1 surround system, while a software system called ‘Beam Forming’ works with the camera to work out where you are to create an envelope of sound around you. This hammers in the sound of your voice and ignores your friends or family members either side of you.

Kinect has an ‘acoustical model’ for countries and individual regional dialects, built from 100s of hours of actors from round the world talking through various sayings.

Just like the Optics, this is happening all the time. The sound recognition works on an open-mic system, meaning the microphones are listening at all times - ready to take commands such as ‘Xbox Pause’ at any point during movie playback.

Comments

Be the first to comment…

Back to top
Close
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Close
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network

OR

Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Close
Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now