hubbub around the question of whether Kinect can or can't handle a player sitting on a couch, one related question seems to have been lost: Can Kinect handle players lying on the floor? This important issue was finally addressed at a session of the Develop Conference in Brighton today, and the answer is a definitive "kind of."
Speaking at the session, Blitz Games CTO Andrew Oliver said his team ran into this very issue when developing their The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout game for Kinect. Many of the exercises on The Biggest Loser TV show, such as push-ups and certain yoga poses, require lying on the ground.
Replicating these in the game offered a new challenge for Microsoft's 3D motion sensing hardware, and apparently it's a test the hardware fails. Oliver reported lying on the ground fundamentally breaks the 3D skeleton of your body detected by the Kinect camera and technology. "We had to consider, would this skeletal tracking ever realistically be able to work out that a player is laying on the floor," Oliver said. "We asked – believe me we asked – and we were told it wasn't going to happen."