updated 05:05 pm EDT, Wed August 11, 2010
Kinect will not reat American Sign Language
In the patent application for the Microsoft Kinect, it was suggested that the Xbox 360 peripheral will have the capability to recognize and understand American Sign Language. According to a Wednesday Kotaku report, however, Microsoft said the peripheral that's due for a November release will not support sign language after all. As the camera resolution has been reduced by more than two-fold, now at just 320x240, the production model is no longer capable of recognizing fingers, which is a necessity for reading sign language.
By reducing the camera's sensitivity and the processing power found inside Kinect, Microsoft could reportedly keep the cost down to improve its functionality. The Kinect add-on already costs $150 in a bundle and only approaches $100 once included as part of a bundle such as the $299 Xbox 360 Arcade pack and the unofficial but still confirmed $399 250GB set.
The peripheral will still understand whether or not a player is sitting or standing, although games will need to write in support.