Sky Glass camera resurrects Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect

Microsoft and Sky partner up to create Sky Glass

Sky has today announced the Sky Glass camera – a new Kinect-like device that brings motion controls and fitness monitoring to your TV.

Partnering up with Microsoft, it looks as though Sky is determined to resurrect the motion controls of Xbox Kinect with this new device – set to launch sometime next year.

Announced alongside a new line of Sky Glass TVs (with built-in cameras and motion control capability), the Sky Glass camera is just the start.

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The 4K Sky Glass camera includes motion controls and gestures support, works across games and TV apps, and utilises a new social TV sharing feature and a built-in partnership with Microsoft.

“Working with Microsoft, we’re also building a fantastic feature that lets us watch TV together even if we’re miles apart,” explained Sky’s chief product officer Fraser Sterling. “It syncs your TV with other households, with integrated video and chats on-screen, and you can choose content from the biggest channels — including Premier League matches, movies, and all your favourite entertainment.”

If that sounds familiar, it’s because Microsoft previously planned this social sharing feature with its 2013 Xbox Kinect. The Xbox One included an HDMI-in port – this was intended to gain access to TV satellite providers such as Sky and cable TV boxes. But ultimately, Xbox’s Kinect experiment failed, with Microsoft walking back its plans and shelving them… until now.

But it’s not just TV streaming that can be shared – the Sky Glass will enable social gaming, too. Games will be available on Sky Glass TVs, including Fruit Ninja and a yet to be revealed Paw Patrol game.

“Pick your opponent, either at home or another household and play through your body movement or gesture control,” said Stirling. “Family games are never going to be the same again.”

As well as motion and gesture controls, the Sky Glass includes voice activation. Just say “Hello, Sky” to activate its voice commands, much like Alexa or other home assistants.

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