The new Kinect is kind of awesome. Just by the numbers, it’s a huge upgrade. You can (most of) the full walkthrough we saw just a bit ago here at Microsoft’s Redmond campus in the video above. Parts are jaw-dropping.
Right from the start, you can see the improved depth sensor. It’s three times as sensitive, and can pick out bits as small as your T-shirt wrinkling or adjusting on your chest. The 60-degree-larger field of view helps here as well (up to six people can be on screen at once), and it has a deeper field of (accurate view too).
And oh man, the IR sensing. It’s seeing in a pitch black room! That is, like, totally absurd. And it should be cool for using the Kinect at night or for horror games where you don’t want to play in a well-lit room. Or just, you know, watching any movie ever.
The new 1080p cameras are a wide field of view, which we saw in greater detail during the Skype demo with four chat partners, and looks great, but no one’s too concerned about that.
The truly impressive stuff though comes from the brains of the Kinect. Its improved skeleton mapping is crazy accurate, and can track your individual hand motions and shoulder shrugs. The muscle tracker is also borderline ridiculous. It can tell what parts of your body have pressure on them. It knows where you’re putting your weight as you lean side to side, and how much power goes into each motion, by tracking speed. It knows if you lob a slow fake punch, and it knows if you slice a fast uppercut through the air, and shows you with popping white circles around your fists or feet or head.