Kinect aiming for lip reading and sign language recognition

New patent points to next steps for motion control system

Forward thinking application suggests Microsoft is already planning phase two of Kinect.

Microsoft is planning on bring sign language and lip reading skills to Kinect. That’s if a newly unearthed patent application is to be believed.

The Big M is clearly keen to get as many punters as possible using Kinect and reckons the system is perfect for disabled users who want to indulge in video chat. “Where the user is unable to speak, he may be prevented from joining in the voice chat,” says the patent. “Under the present system, he could make ASL (American Sign Language) gestures to convey his thoughts, which would then be transmitted to the other users for auditory display.”

Related links:
- Exclusive: how does Microsoft Xbox Kinect work?
- Xbox 360 Kinect review: first play and hands-on pics
- Kinect comes to the UK this weekend

And that’s not all. Lip reading could be on its way too, allowing gamers who can’t speak to dole out abuse regardless to fellow Xbox Live fanatics. “A user may be able to speak or make the facial motions corresponding to speaking words. The system may then parse those facial motions to determine the user's intended words.”

Of course, this is all well into the future. But it seems Microsoft is readying itself for Kinect success and a big push to make it the number one motion control system going.

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