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Even after live Xbox One demo, things with the Kinect aren't what they seem

Xbox One Screenshot - Xbox One kinect voice command

Earlier today, Microsoft released a video featuring the Xbox One's user interface and functionality in live action. Unlike the previously released promo video, this one was a live demo of the Xbox One, with Microsoft employees Marc Whitten and Yusuf Mehdi walking us through Xbox One's many capabilities, including Kinect voice commands.

The duo demonstrated how, with a simple command, the Xbox One would recognize your voice and switch over to your specific profile dashboard. They also used voice commands to quickly switch between apps and games on-the-fly. The Kinect was able to quickly recognize the commands and perform the action, without having to repeat a command. Most impressive was the fact that the Xbox One was as fast as advertised, just as Microsoft had promised.

Unfortunately, things aren't always as they appear. A new report from AP Entertainment Writer Derrik Lang paints a different picture of the Xbox One, one where voice commands had to be repeated -- some as many as four times. Here's an excerpt from his article in which Lang points out the flaws of the Xbox One Kinect voice recognition:

At a demonstration of the Xbox One this week organized by Microsoft, the new version of the company's voice-and-motion-detecting Kinect sensor didn't work nearly as flawlessly in real life. The Xbox 360 successor, which is scheduled for release Nov. 22, required several commands to be repeated for the response to pop up on screen.

During a private 45-minute presentation showcasing the console's media and entertainment capabilities, about 10 of 45 voice commands issued had to be repeated by a Microsoft spokesman — some as many as four times. Kinect didn't immediately detect such orders as "Xbox, watch ESPN" and "Xbox, Bing movies with Sandra Bullock" during the demo.

Lang did point out that Jose Pinero, senior director of marketing and public relations for Xbox, claimed, "Everything you're seeing here is going to get better."

"Right now, we're still a couple of weeks away but voice, the more you use it and the more the system learns, the more accurate it becomes. We're still working on fit and finish."

Theoretically, using voice navigation should offer a quicker, more natural process when switching between apps. But if the Kinect requires commands be repeated three or four times, things can become very repetitive, very quickly.

Matt-liebl-profile
Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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