Next Step For Kinect Is Natural Speech

Next Step For Kinect Is Natural Speech

To be perfectly honest, Kinect and me don’t quite get along. Sure, Dance Central is fun, and Fruit Ninja Kinect works, but apart from that, well… nada really. I haven’t used it at all. I certainly haven’t used it for voice controls. But according to David Quinn, at Rare, increasing the level of voice recognition, to the point where it recognises natural speech, is next for the device.

“We pushed speech pretty hard in Sports 2,” said Quinn, talking to Gamasutra. “But it was also a very say-what-you-see approach; in golf, you change clubs [by saying] ‘four iron’, kind of thing.”

“What I’d like to see and what we’re investigating now is a more natural conversation way of talking to the Kinect, so you can say, ‘Hey, caddy, give me a five iron,’ or ‘Hey, caddy, what should I use now?'”

Voice recognition is one of those things that, if it has to be done, has to be done well. I think for the most part Kinect has done a good job of it, but natural speech? I’ll believe it when it understands a single word of my Scottish jibberish!

Kinect’s next challenge is natural speech, says Rare engineer [Gamasutra]

Thanks VG247


  • Wait, Rare still exists?

    I’ve never seen a company go from brilliant to wasted in such a short time.

    • I’m optimistic for what they may be developing for the next Xbox. Maybe a new Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark or even Killer Instict!

  • Seems a bit far fetched right now but hopefully with Microsoft and the XBOX 360 developers of the next generation pushing the growth of the tech we’ll eventually get to the point where speech recognition works for more than basic commands and dictation. If the Kinect was standard on the 360 I think EndWar would have resulted in a much bigger accomplishment.
    I’d really love to see a Kinect Language Tutor program that can actually comprehend what you’re saying and even go as far as to offer corrections to sentence structure and pronunciation.

    • A language tutor, you say? That might be the first legitimately good idea for using Kinect I’ve ever heard.
      As someone who thinks dancing is for girls, that is.

      • There’s plenty of great uses for a Kinect augmented interface we just haven’t seen many developers with freedom to push it in a big budget game yet. A Point & Click type adventure game would work quite nicely with Kinect voice controls and simple hand gestures. I remember reading a Cracked article a while back which outlined a card battle type game played entirely with gestures that’d be pretty sweet.
        Think about all the great ideas that were floating around before motion control became a gimmick. There’s like about a years worth of ideas out there from after the Wii was revealed but before the shovelware took over.
        Then there’s the idea of Kinect-like Camera + Traditional Controller interface. Imagine playing a first-person game with a controller like normal, but when you hold the controller in your left hand and raise your right hand forward you gain the ability to move objects with hand/arm gestures. Kinect isn’t quite at the finely tuned level required to do that but one day it (or something like it) will be.

        Kinect and motion control in general may suck now, but go back and look at how sucky the controls were for the first (and even second) generation to use analogue thumbsticks. Once the tech gets off the ground and developers get a handle on all this there’s a ton of potential for awesome.

        [Sorry for the rant, I just love thinking about what can be done with new tech, even if half the time it doesn’t work out.]

  • “To be perfectly honest, Kinect and me don’t quite get along.”

    To be perfectly honest, does anybody get along with it?

  • What Kinect needs is a controller input; like a Nunchuk, or a Nav controller. Gestures are fine, but they need to come up with a better way to navigate their game worlds.
    Speech recognition is a nice innovation but it’s hardly going to revolutionize the core Kinect experience, which has far, far bigger fish to fry.

  • My big problem is the Kinect device is next to the centre speaker.
    Obviously, when Im playing games, the volume is up, so Kinect cant hear what Im saying.

  • I really don’t want speech recognition in my games (or on my phone, or anywhere else). I feel like a dickhead sitting there talking to a machine.

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