News Article

Kinect Input Lag Could Be Cut to Under 5 Milliseconds

Posted Tue, 29 Mar 2011 by James Newton

Getting better all the time

Getting better all the time

Limb-tracking gets faster

When developers take the time to minimise Kinect input lag it's barely noticeable, but the sensor's response time could get even faster in future, according to a newly published Microsoft research paper.

Essentially, the current method works out which of your limbs is which and then tracks them, frame-to-frame, says researcher Harry Fairhead:

The basic idea is that if you have an area identified as an arm in the first frame then in the next frame the arm can't have moved very far and so you simply attempt to match areas close to the first position.

This partly explains why Kinect struggles to read body parts if they become partially obscured or lost from view. The new method seems a smarter way of doing things: rather than track from frame to frame, it compares your body shape to existing maps of other players, working out which body part is most likely to be moving.

According to the research paper, the Xbox 360 GPU can perform this process in under 5 milliseconds, equivalent to 200 frames per second, a significant increase in speed on the current method

Could this be the new Kinect technology hinted-at for E3?


Tags: Kinect, Technology, Wowza.

User Comments


1. ManicMilner United Kingdom 29 Mar 2011, 14:36 BST

I've never noticed the lag and I've been playing kinect for months!? Maybe online but thought that was down to people's Internet connection? My games are working fine -(Dance Central, kinect sports, Yoostar2 and Kinect adventures)


2. James United Kingdom 29 Mar 2011, 23:09 BST

Depends on the game — it's noticeable in the rubbish ones, but seeing as you seem to have the best games it's not surprising you didn't notice it.

Still, less lag on the best games = best games get better, I guess.


3. mastodona United States 30 Mar 2011, 00:09 BST

It all lags a bit including the best games. Even the movement in the kinect tuner is hardly 1:1 is it? Try waving your arms fast and you'll see lag so any way to improve that has to be good.


4. Slapshot United States 30 Mar 2011, 00:21 BST

Less lag is always a good thing! ;)


5. abHS4L United States 30 Mar 2011, 09:24 BST

My Kinect has noticeable lag BUT the funny thing about it is that it's our TV's fault, not the Kinect because my dad for some strange reason didn't feel our perfectly fine 48" plasma TV wasn't good enough for games (or watching) and decided to buy a 60". He made a bad choice in brand because it made both playing games and watching TV worse. There was hardly any lag in the Kinect and now that and the Wii had lag and playing 3D Wii games were pixelated (like Sonic Colors) so UGH, especially playing Dance Central which I'm kind of fed up with right now because the game isn't reading my movements properly, which I still think is the TV's fault :P

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