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Microsoft Kinect 2: Real-Life HAL?

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READ MY LIPS
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"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."
"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
"What's the problem?"
"I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do."
"What are you talking about, HAL?"
"This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it."
"I don't know what you're talking about, HAL."
"I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen."
"Where the hell'd you get that idea, HAL?"
"Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move."


There we'll be, attempting to fire up a casual game of Call of Duty or Dead Space, holding the lifeless corpse of Dr. Frank Poole, and the Xbox will know we need to disconnect it to swap the HDMI port for the Wii U.

A real, modern-day 2001.

As Microsoft continues to tinker with the next generation of Xbox, the company hopes to extend the appeal of its motion-sensing controller Kinect beyond the brief novelty that Nintendo's Wii controllers held. And in its effort to compete with the future iterations of Wii and PlayStation -- as well as keep the rise of cheap iPhone and Android games at bay -- Redmond is reportedly making the Microsoft Kinect 2 so accurate that it'll be able to read lips.

According to Eurogamer, inside sources have said that the second-generation Kinect will boast much-improved motion-sensing and voice recognition technology. So much so that, along with reading lips, the Kinect 2 could even detect emotion via facial expression and vocal tone.

Add a polygraph and we're all doomed.

But, the Kinect 2 may not signal the rise of the machines just yet. As Gizmodo's Jamie Condliffe notes, the Kinect's hardware will have to undergo a serious overhaul in order to achieve sensing capabilities that can actually read lips. The original Kinect's CCD only had a 320x240 pixel resolution, which is far too small to detect subtle lip and tongue movement.

Then again, the Kinect 2's camera needn't be so sharp that it couldn't notice you're inching closer to the power strip.

(See also: Apple to Deliver NFC iPhones in 2012 and Google Engineer Calls Google+ a Complete Failure)

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