Microsoft’s Kinect Patent Includes American Sign Language Support


PC Magazine

By: Chloe Albanesius


  • 08.06.2010

The patent for Microsoft’s gesture-based Kinect game controller has been unearthed, and among the more interesting components is support for American Sign Language.

An illustration within the patent shows a user spelling out words with their hands using sign language.

“The user … is making a gesture with his left hand … to signal the character ‘a’ in American Sign Language (ASL),” according to the patent, which was posted by GoRumors. “This gesture may be interpreted as if the user were pressing the ‘a’ key on a keyboard.”

Microsoft said that the ASL gestures can be performed with one hand, both hands, or “some combination of his body parts.” There is also the option to use a prop, like a wand, to spell out words.

“ASL has the advantage of having a large number of people who are already facile in using it,” Microsoft wrote. “To that end, a user who is facile in ASL will have an easy time inputting characters to a system that accepts ASL gestures as input.”

Whether or not this feature will be included in Kinect at launch is unknown. Microsoft did not have any additional details.

Kinect, originally known as Project Natal, allows users to control a game without a hand-held device. It made its official debut at this year’s E3 conference. Kinect will be available starting November 4 in North America for $149.99. It will come with the Kinect sensor as well as the “Kinect Adventures” video game. Bundles options are also available.

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