Rumored Surface Mini may pack Kinect technology

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We have been hearing rumors of Microsoft releasing a “Surface Mini” device since the original Surface RT tablet landed in stores. While a mini version of Microsoft’s superbly designed Surface tablet would be great, there are apparently other additions onboard. Reports from a Chinese blog site, WPDang, have stated that device may feature Kinect like abilities.

The rumor states that the Surface Mini, will use recognition capabilities to control the tablet using a user’s face and hand movements. While this may sound exciting at first, it is nothing we haven’t seen before. Many of Lenovo’s tablets, including their YOGA series, include the ability to control applications with voice and hand commands. Companies like Sony have also spent a good amount of time integrating face recognition technology into their devices.

That being said, the rumored Surface Mini may be able to pull off similar tricks, but the anonymous sources from WPDang have stated that the tablet would use the same somatosensory technology that is used in the Xbox Kinect.

What do you think of a Surface Mini with Kinect potential?

Source: WPDang; via CNET



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gandhirushi says:

Sounds good but I don't think it will appeal the masses.

Credo93 says:

Why not? Millions of people fall for the gimmicky Samsung feature's ... Or am i wrong?

You're exactly right.

cowboy6201 says:

How about the iPad mini people fell for that?

Credo93 says:

Because it's Apple, everybody knows that company for producing high quality products and very fast optimized software ... & both Apple and Samsung are the best in marketing, that is the other key of their succes ..... Microsoft is just marketing Windows (Phone) 8 wrong ... Believe me :) 

Zulfigar says:

So in other words, LeapMotion for the Surface... interesting concept.

Menzlo says:

I didn't realize leap motion could recognize your face.

Zulfigar says:

Good point lol, must have skipped past the face part. :D

Steven Curl says:

The problem with Leap Motion and other input technologies, is that they require you to be confined to a "box". Whether that box is a traditional keyboard and mouse, or a touch screen, or the virtual box you operate in for the Leap Motion controller, they all follow the same trend, work where and how I say you can.

Where Kinect is different is it doesn't really care what "box" you use, just be in front of the thing, which is pretty big.

YCSJ2980 says:

Seems like it could be an expensive gimmick to add to a mini. Might want to put it into the larger more expensive version first as there would likely be less price sensitivity, see if it impacts demand positively, and then throw it into a mini.

andrewkeith5 says:

I don't know... The motion detection system on the Yoga is kinda pointless. The gestures just aren't really natural and it isn't very reliable, which coupled to the lack of any real app support means i never use it.
A Surface Kinect system would have to find some really useful tricks (none of which I can really think of) and be much more reliable to make it worth putting on such a small screen...

Aaron M says:

My unimaginative brain is having a hard time seeing how Kinect would be useful, or even original (leap motion, etc...) on an 8inch mini tablet. But im opened to being wowed by a good demo. More importantly though, I want a light weight, powerful, and decently priced device to make me rethink getting a dell venue pro 8 instead. And for crying out loud, if you include LTE, don't make it exclusive to att or Verizon. Tmobile is the only network offering a free data tier.

Jf.Vigor says:

This is easy. Just imagine how the xbox one works and says "Hi, xxxx". Now when you pick up your surface, it'll recognize who you are and sign into your stuff :)

toph36 says:

That alone would be nice.

Aaron M says:

Ok, I'll give you that. Auto sign on would be nice. But that could, and should, be implemented across all windows 8 devices that have a webcam and microphone.

ralexand56 says:

That depth sensor would make it more secure.

It is written concept and real life getting ready.

onysi says:

It makes sense!! They had to release Kinect 2 first !!

wpguy says:

Microsoft needs to get Mini Pro with full Win 8.x and 64GB at $349 max and a Mini RT with 32 GB at $199 max out the door ASAP. Save the Kinect stuff for the Surface 3 line (and get that out ASAP, too).

ivo_apo says:

Can' agree more!!!

Steven Curl says:

Would you be willing to accept the Surface Pro Mini with an Atom? If so that part of the market is pretty well stocked at the moment, and baring the vapormag/kickstand case of the Surface, the Venue Pro does exactly what you want at the price point you want.

Couldn't agree more with the Mini RT though, that's a device sorely needed, and rumoured to be a Q1 offering.

reda igbaria says:

It'll be amazing

bilzkh says:

In thinking about it there is one way to make Kinect useful on a tablet or phone.

Think about our Live Tiles... Now imagine if the Wide of Large tiles could not only present information, but also let you interact with it. For example, the Mail tile shows you the first unread message, but imagine being able to scroll through all unread mail from the tile. It's possible on Android.

Now imagine this. In order to scroll through tile content you could use Kinect as a "layer screen." This will help ensure that you don't accidently push the full Start Screen or push the tile as you scroll through tile contents. The idea can be applied to any tile, e.g. FlipBoard and flipping through headlines; Weather and sliding between hourly forecasts; Sports and seeing who scored the last goal, or who was out last, etc;

You touch the screen in order to get into stuff and scroll the Start Screen.

You use air jestures to interact with the tiles themselves.

as147 says:

They need to get the mini out to compete in the price segment that is eating into the larger tablet market. If they can do that with Kinect like features and keep it thin and keep the battery life competitive then why not. They also need to produce a much thinner Surface later ne of both RT and Pro

Shut up and take my money.

Ken Heslip says:

Not if it puts the price up by $100. This thing needs to be cheap to compete.

Sam Not Spam says:

Sounds like something that'd be great for a Surface/Surface Pro 3.

Jf.Vigor says:

Great! So just like with my xbox one, when I pick up the surface minii it'll recognize me and sign me into my stuff. Totally awesome

tallgeese says:

Sounds greaaaaaat!
....back to my cereal.


swizzlerz says:

I tried it on a g4 its slow takes 3 sec longer to zoom than to just pinch it. I will keep my1020 until a better phone comes with a better camera in the windows line up.

SMMinke says:

Yes, Microsoft may well give us our Surface Phone (and I'm guessing a gamer-oriented "XPhone") after their acquisition of Nokia's mobile hardware division. Total guess but they'd be foolish not to offer both and reinforce both brands.

DJCBS says:

Don't see the point in this expensive tech being applied to a Mini.
I can see them putting this on the Surface 3. But not on a mini version. At any rate, it's just a gimmick that will put the already overpriced Surfaces even higher. No thanks.

ralexand56 says:

Stylus please. Everything else is a bonus.

Silver Wind says:

I'm thinking of 2 mini devices for the surface lineup
Surface mini
> 8 inch, 1200p screen (16:10)
> 32GB & 64GB editions w/ 2GB RAM
> Snapdragon 800/810
> roughly 8mm thick, with 1cm bezels
> 8MP / 3MP cams
> Windows RT "Threshold"
> Over 10hrs battery life
> Cheaper, Low Power Kinect (low sight range; weaker IR, etc)
> MicroSD / USB 3.0 / MiniHDMI
> $249 (32 GB WiFi) / $349 (64GB LTE)
> VaporMg / White
> Wacom digitizer (sensitivity: 128)

Surface mini pro
> 8 inch, 1200p screen (16:10)
> 32GB, 64GB & 128GB editions w/ 4GB RAM
> Quad Core Bay Trail / Intel HD
> roughly 9.5mm thick, with 1cm bezels
> 8MP / 3MP cams
> Windows 8 "Threshold"
> Over 10hrs battery life
> Cheaper, Low Power Kinect (low sight range; weaker IR, etc)
> MicroSD / USB 3.0 / Mini Display Port
> $349 (32 GB WiFi) / $549 (128GB LTE)
> VaporMg / Titanium Black
> Wacom digitizer (sensitivity: 1024)

Mini Touch & Type covers for $79 and $99 ( small size should cut costs) (they should be able to use the same ports as full size versions, thus quasi backwards compatible)

Dual-Stage kick stand on both devices along with the normal array of ports.

I think this is a pretty realistic expectation, given the current surface devices, the 8 inch size and the 8 inch competition.

Freelicks says:

Take note MicroSuave, this is what we need from you! +928 my friend. I'll have to deal with the Venue 8 Pro until then.

SMMinke says:

Ah! Tis the holiday season so your great wish list should be well-received. Maybe Micro-Clause is watching! ;-)

"Nothing we haven't seen before." Hah. Other than Kinect far exceeds what the others are capable of.

Javad Alan says:

So, if it's gonna be true then why MINI (I thought when we call a device mini so it should be lower and weaker than it's Full version)

Bora777 says:

Motion sensor or not, I would be first in line for a Surface Mini as long as it's not on RT. I'm wondering now if I should hold off on purchasing the Dell Venue 8 Pro...

swizzlerz says:

"surface on" possible. I'm so going to a Microsoft and saying surface off lol... If this is the case. Will I purchase a mini? No I like my surface rt. I feel I will wait off until 3.0 or later. My Lumia 1020 covers many of my needs.

freshfelicio says:

I think Kinect makes more sense for PCs than for tablets.

Ron.H says:

There may be some interesting applications in the workplace, or even seatbacks in cars (for passengers).

SMMinke says:

Yes, Kinect tech in any Surface Device would be nice. Not hard to dream up possibilities. I like it replacing the picture password of Win 8 or being one of the "steps" (swipe left on a pic, tap the nose of the person in the pic, stick your tongue out). Voice-recognition with the added accuracy from the virtual "lip reading" tech. Imagine Dragon Naturally speaking with that added ability. Imagine being able to forward/back in a web browser by moving your nose left or right. Imagine that last capability for those with limited use of their hands. Not too hard to dream up applications.