A Bad Sign For Kinect
Last week a patent was unearthed that told of a device that could read the body motions of its players and was powerful enough to read lips, sign language, and numerous joints on the body to produce gameplay like we've never seen it before. Kinect is not that device.
A Microsoft representative has told Kotaku that the Kinect that is coming out this fall is a downgraded version of the peripheral that was patented. "Microsoft files lots of patent applications to protect our intellectual property, not all of which are brought to market right away. Kinect that is shipping this holiday will not support sign language."
This isn't unusual, as a lot of companies don't act on all their patents, but the patent certainly proves that the tech is possible. According to a unidentified source Kotaku talked to, the feature downgrade was done for cost reasons – Kinect will retail for $150. This is also understandable, if a little disappointing.