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Microsoft Input Devices Software Technology

Microsoft Creates Kinect-Like System Using Laptop Speaker & Microphone 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the echo-of-the-future dept.
MrSeb writes "Microsoft Research, working with the University of Washington, has developed a Kinect-like system that uses your computer's built-in microphone and speakers to provide object detection and gesture recognition, much in the same way that a submarine uses sonar. Called SoundWave, the new technology uses the Doppler effect to detect any movements and gestures in the proximity of a computer. In the case of SoundWave, your computer's built-in speaker is used to emit ultrasonic (18-22KHz) sound waves, which change frequency depending on where your hand (or body) is in relation to the computer. This change in frequency is measured by your computer's built-in microphone, and then some fairly complex software works out your motion/gesture. The obvious advantage of SoundWave over a product like Kinect is that it uses existing, commodity hardware; it could effectively equip every modern laptop with a gesture-sensing interface. The Microsoft Research team is reporting a 90-100% accuracy rate for SoundWave, even in noisy environments."
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Microsoft Creates Kinect-Like System Using Laptop Speaker & Microphone

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2012 @10:07AM (#39915547)

    It all depends on the frequency used for the "sonar" system, the fans, HDD, background noise shouldn't contain a signifinact amount of noise at 20kHz so it shouldn't be a problem

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2012 @10:07AM (#39915553)

    From the article "The Microsoft Research team is reporting a 90-100% accuracy rate for SoundWave, even in noisy environments."

  • Audible (Score:4, Informative)

    by Prune (557140) on Monday May 07, 2012 @10:23AM (#39915765)
    I'm in the beginning of my 30s and I can still hear 18 kHz (probably due to not listening to loud music, and wearing musicians' ear plugs in loud clubs); younger folks can often hear to around 20 kHz. Calling this ultrasonic is silly. Though the high frequency sensitivity of the ear is lower and these sounds would not be loud, they can easily be annoying, in the same way the old CRT TVs had that annoying 15.7 kHz buzz you can hear when you mute the sound.

    Some here may wonder why, in the day of sound cards with 96 ksamples/s they didn't use a higher output frequency. The problem is the sound card DAC's reconstruction filter starts attenuation significantly below that, and most speakers drop in sensitivity much beyond 20 kHz as well. I would imagine the recording side has similar limitations.

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