The Kinect port’s removal from the Xbox One S might have led some to believe that the accessory has reached the end of its life, but a recent Microsoft blog post suggests otherwise.
The post details the research efforts of Microsoft’s research lab in Cambridge, who have been hard at work repurposing the Kinect camera accessory as a device for tracking hand and finger movements as part of a project called Handpose.
The blog post details how the researchers expect the technology to be used in an office setting, to use your fingers to skip between slides in a powerpoint presentation or to hang up on a colleague over Skype, but where the technology gets really interesting is in its ability to simulate hand movement in a virtual environment.
But more interestingly, this Handpose technology is also shown being used by people wearing virtual reality headsets, completely removing the need for a controller at all.
At present, Microsoft has not announced any firm VR hardware for the Xbox but with Sony gearing up for the release of its own PlayStation VR there are rumors that Microsoft has more decisive plans to get the Xbox in on the action.
Microsoft briefly mentioned at its E3 2016 press conference that the computing power of Project Scorpio will pave the way for the company to integrate support for the Oculus Rift headset. This is opposed to Sony, who has built its own headset from the ground up.
When it comes to controllers, Sony already has the hardware with its PlayStation Move motion controllers which were originally released for the PS3.