It was mentioned in the patent application, but it looks like Microsoft's Kinect won't be offering support for sign language after all. That's now been confirmed by Microsoft itself, which told Kotaku that it "files lots of patent applications to protect our intellectual property, not all of which are brought to market right away," before flatly stating that "Kinect that is shipping this holiday will not support sign language." The reason? It seems to be the result of Kinect's cameras, which Kotaku says were originally supposed to have a "much higher resolution," but were eventually downgraded to 320 x 240 in an apparent cost-saving move. If you parse Microsoft's, however, you'll noticed that it doesn't exactly rule out the possibility of Kinect ever supporting sign language; it simply says that the version launching this holiday season won't support it.
Microsoft says Kinect won't support sign language, downgraded cameras likely to blame
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