Sky is reviving the original dream of Microsoft’s Kinect accessory next year. British satellite broadcaster announced its new Sky Class TVs This morning the company has developed a separate 4K camera that includes motion controls and gesture support. It also works on games, and features a social TV sharing feature co-developed with Microsoft.
“By working with Microsoft, we’ve created an amazing feature that allows us to watch TV together even when we’re miles apart,” explains Fraser Stirling, Sky’s chief product officer. “It syncs your TV with other homes, video chat and built-in screen, and you can choose the content of the biggest channels, including Premier League matches, your favorite movies and entertainment.”
One of the features of the new Sky watch is the partnership with Microsoft.
A Social TV feature that Microsoft tried and failed to create a Kinect add-on in 2013. Launched with the Kinect, the Xbox One includes an HDMI-in port for access to satellite TV providers like Sky and Cablebox. Microsoft had some big plans for TV on Xbox, and even tested social features that allow Xbox owners to watch TV together. In the end, the Kinect package failed and the company pulled all of its gritty TV shows.
The Skywatch Tudor Future, created in partnership with Microsoft, will allow people to instantly see each other’s reactions. You can pause, skip, and restart when you two look together. Where this camera is most impressive is the playback controls and gesture support for gaming.
Games will be available on Sky Glass TVs that support this new camera, including the Pav Patrol-branded title and Fruit Ninja. The camera also plays multiplayer games. “Choose your opponent at home or in another house and play with your body movement or gesture control,” says Stirling. “Family games will never be the same again.”
Sky is investing heavily in voice controls on Sky Class TVs. “Hello, Sky” performs Sky’s voice commands like a digital assistant, and you can use it to switch to HTML ports by saying “Sky, Xbox” to switch to an Xbox console if one is connected.
All sounds and sounds like Kinect. Microsoft had a big dream taking up the living room with smart cameras and voice controls, Sky is now trying to keep that dream alive.