Microsoft Kinect: Sign language friendly says Microsoft

Before any big launch in the tech world, the webiverse rumour mill kicks into top gear. There's always plenty of chatter as to what's going to be on board, what isn't, leaked specs and so on.

And Microsoft's Kinect was no exception. And, following its official launch at E3, many commentators who had discussed the motion sensor system were quick to pick up on the lack of sign language compatibility. It was an inclusion that was expected to be announced, but was apparently lacking from the finished device.

There have even been fresh rumours circulating that the cost to manufacturer Kinect spiralled out of control and sign language support was scrapped as a result of a downgrading of the cameras on board.

So, are these rumours true? Had Microsoft ditched sign language from the first gen Kinect device?

Not so, according to the head of the Good Science Studio at Microsoft, Shannon Loftis, who Pocket-lint spoke with at Gamescom.

"Sign language is very much within the realm of possibility", she said. "There's no technological reason why sign language would not work".

When we asked her why there was no sign language support on board with the Kinect launch, Loftis was eager to point out that what we're about to see is far from the completed Kinect experience.

"This is just the launch of the product and development will continue throughout the entire life cycle of the Xbox 360", she said.

Loftis was also keen to stress that sign language would play an important part in making Kinect more widespread in the future. She said: "It should be an application that people develop because if we're going to be inclusive then we should focus on everybody".

Are you excited by Kinect? And how would you like to see it evolve moving forward? Apart from sign language support, what other features would you like to see added? Give us your thoughts on all things Kinect using the comments below.



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