Kinect engineer David Quinn, a developer working at Microsoft’s Rare studio in the UK, spoke with Gamasutra a while back about what his next initiative to spearhead will be. Amongst his many achievements working with the Kinect Sports titles and his laborious Kinect-tuning since the Project Natal days, Quinn discussed how far along the device has come. He mentioned the enhanced skeletal tracking system and the addition of a 3D depth sensor as major achievements. Within this realm of trying to accomplish a total hands-free experience, Quinn also mentioned the next hurdle to leap over. “Natural speech” is the forthcoming frontier.
To permit players to speak in a more natural manner is the avenue Quinn feels should be tackled. Applauding BioWare’s Mass Effect 3 Kinect capabilities, the engineer noted his appreciation with how it was woven into a core title. To him, this will open up a new door of core titles with voice software.
Yet, the real challenge is still ahead. As the engineer noted, “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?’”
Were this to come to fruition soon, imagine the possibilities and doorways newly opened. Someday down the road, could the technology be pushed where we could have somewhat natural conversations with NPCs in vast worlds?