Microsoft’s Kinect integration spotted inside Windows 8?

By Tom Warren, on 21st Apr 11 7:30 pm with 31 Comments

The first signs of Microsoft’s Kinect integration for Windows 8 appear to have been discovered, according to reports.

Microsoft is expected to include some Kinect-like features in Windows 8 to take advantage of webcams and future webcam based sensors. Details of such integration leaked to the Internet in a number of slides in June, 2010. Microsoft appears to be building this integration into early builds of Windows 8. Windows8italia posted details of Windows 8′s Sensors control panel which includes references to “Detect Human Presence”.

Microsoft’s original leaked slides promised the ability for a webcam to detect a users presence and log them in automatically:

Windows 8 leaked slide

The discovery of the same terminology appears to confirm that Microsoft is experimenting with the integration of Kinect-like facial detection as a Sensor inside Windows 8. Microsoft uses the Kinect camera to automatically detect Xbox LIVE users and sign them into various services. The promise of similar functionality in Windows could mean that users will be able to simply switch desktops by sitting in front of the PC, as promised in the previously leaked slides:

Kinect-like detection in Windows 8

It’s not yet clear whether the integration will require a special webcam similar to the Kinect device which includes a depth sensor and full-body 3D motion capture.

Microsoft’s early Milestone 1 build of Windows 8 leaked only a week ago and hackers have been hard at work to unlock hidden features. So far the following features have been discovered:

Windows 8 Sensor Control Panel references - Win8italia


  • AlienSix


  • McAkins Online

    Please MS make a full job of it, log me in while I am behind the device, and Lock the desktop when I step away!

    • Mark

      Agree. If it’s not going to be fully supported in cool and innovative ways, don’t bother.

  • Dansgalaxy

    This functionality has been available for many years using addon software, but it would great to see it integrated into the OS.

  • Anonymous

    How will it know that it is not just a picture of the person to be logged on being held in front of the webcam? Seems insecure.

    I hope they use depth/IR sensor functionality of Kinect to ensure that an actual person is sitting in front of the camera. That would be a kick-ass system.

    • Anonymous

      I still don’t like the idea.

    • oolong2

      Then don’t use it… I’m fairly sure it won’t be a required feature…

      It’s actually already in use on some laptops. I’m sure integrating it into the OS using MS algorythms that can be updated is probably more secure and offers better integration into profiles, etc.

    • Anonymous

      I get your point, but I’m not in for that facial recognition kinda thing ;) But it’s a matter of choice … IMO it just makes Windows so bloated, with all those unnecessary functionality. Is this what the costumer asks for the next version of Windows? Don’t think so. An attractive, stable, fast and reliable system that is easy to use, THAT is what the costumer wants. Not some facial recog login :p

      Anyway –’

    • oolong2

      Well I’m sure that’s what *you* want but there are millions of other people that would likely disagree ;-)

      One the challanges that Windows has always had is having to cater to thousands of different devices and configurations as well as inidividual consumer preferences.

      The have come up with many different OS versions to fill these needs (Basic, Progressional, Ultimate, etc) and even within those versions you can pick and choose which components you want to install.

      So in other woords I’m sure there will be a configuration that’s just right for you ;-)

      As for me I’m an “Ultimate” kind of guy. Give me everything and I’ll figure out what is annoying later ;-)

    • Tim Smith

      Yeah good point. They should never add new features. Ever. Just keep making the same OS each year! GENIUS! They should hire you.

    • Anonymous

      You don’t get the point really, do you? I just say users don’t want those fancy new features that don’t add any substantial value to the user experience. New features are always welcome, but only the real functional ones.

    • Mark

      If companies limited themselves to just what customers request, most of the breakthrough products in technology would never have occurred. Most customers can’t imagine what’s possible. That’s the job of technology companies.

    • GP007

      They should pimp kinect and not just normal webcams with this functionality, it also means MS can sell it’s kinect tech to be built into screens later on.

    • Mark

      Not clear how much of Kinect is MS-owned versus licensed from PrimeSense.

      I believe all the voice and some of the motion capture stuff is MS-specific. But the 3D sensing stuff is licensed and on a non-exclusive basis. PrimeSense is already working with Asus on a Kinect-like competitor.

    • Benjy91

      If this is Kinect integration, Kinect has a 3d depth scanner, so it’d know the difference between a human face and a picture

  • Anonymous

    “Detect human presence”: they couldn’t have given that a creepier name.

    • Raju Das|ৰাজু দাস

      Skynet has become self aware, you know. :)

    • Anonymous

      if (“detect human presence” = true)
      if (user = “jconnor”)
      get.destroyhuman ++;

  • Ef Jay

    Funny, I’ve never got my Kinect to automatically recognise me, hope it works better here.

    • Anonymous

      Strange, because my Kinect automatically recognizes me every times I step in front of it.

  • FMH

    What if someone killed me, cut my head off, showed it to “The Kinect” and get access to my account!
    This idea is unacceptable Microsoft! :)

    • Steve Dobs

      “Welcome, Zombie FMH.”

  • Syrious

    SKYNET has arrived!

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully, Kinect will have expended Chatroulette capabilities for all you CR fanboys out there..

  • Nivekv

    They better patent this ASAP or Apple will build it into Lion and claim we copied them again!!!!

  • FaiKee

    Afraid Tom has made it all wrong, the “Detect Human Presence” in SensorCPL.dll refers to proximity sensor, which doesn’t recognize faces. If this facial recognition is present in win8, it should be stored in somewhere else.

  • Sietse

    that’s actually pretty awesome! First time I’m impressed with a new Windows feature :)

    let’s see how it works out

    • Draka

      computer love
      computer lovecomputer lovecomputer lovecomputer lovecomputer lovecomputer love

  • Adam Haider

    I am certain that Microsoft will eventually offer up sensor-enabled webcams as optional stand-alone peripheral device and also integrate them within their Windows 8 tablets and laptop range; they would be crazy not to.

  • Guest

    Version 8: Windows Skynet

  • Abram730

    Many many people would like to buy 3-4 kinects for their PC’s, if a, IR strobe with time offset could be added. Businesses would for virtual collaboration in 3D space, meetings…ext there are security applications.

    notice the bands of interference for the 2 connects.

    Kinect Video Conferencing System

    M$ can sell more kinects then they did xbox. No really.. It’s like the ipod was for apple.

    Homeland Security


    For robot surgery

    Even time travel can be done with a kinect now lol