Controlling Windows Media Center from the sofa without a remote is something that just sound cool so using Kinect sounds a really good idea. Last year there was a beta for Kinect for Media Center and now thanks to the commercial released of Kinect for Windows the final version is out.
With the Kinect you can use hand gestures and voice commands to control Windows Media Center and then control the addins that run on it including Netflix, My Movies and Media Browser. The developer says that that the addin has been designed so that audio coming from a TV show or music can’t trigger a voice command and that there are lots of configuration settings so you can get it working the best way for you.
The addin costs $6.99 and you need a Kinect for Windows (the Xbox 360 version is not supported but may work). I am going to give it a try on the 360 version and will report back on how well it works. Head over to the developers site for details and the download links
Here are some of the features:
- Hand Swipe Left, Right, Up, Down
- Moves the selection in Media Center based on velocity of gesture.
- Hand Swipe then Hold
- Moves the selection in Media Center and repeats the swipe continuously until you release the Hold.
- Hand Tap
- ‘Ok’ in Media Center.
- Hand Zoom (Hands moving away from each other)
- ‘Ok’ in Media Center.
- Hand Pinch (Hands moving closer to each other)
- ‘Back’ in Media Center.
- Dominant Hand Hold
- Secondary Hand Hold
- Signals that you are in control of the gestures, if multiple people are in view.
- ‘Stop gestures’
- Temporarily stops watching for Gesture Commands.
- ‘Start gestures’
- Starts watching for Gesture Commands again.
- ‘Stop voice’
- Temporarily stops listening for Voice Commands.
- ‘Start voice’
- Starts listening for Voice Commands again.
Basic Media Center:
- Ok, Enter, Select
- ‘enter’ key
- Up, Down, Left, Right, Back
- Home, Start
- Media Center home page
- Play, Stop, Next, Previous, Pause
- Info, Record
- ‘Go to music,’ ‘Go to my music’
- ‘Go to movies’, ‘Go to my movies’, ‘Go to movie library’
- Launches ‘MyMovies 4’, ‘MyMovies 3’, the built in Movie Library, or ‘Media Browser’, depending on your configuation.
- ‘Go to pictures’, ‘Go to my pictures’
- ‘Go to videos’, ‘Go to my videos’
- ‘Go to Netflix’
- Launches Netflix add-in if installed.
- ‘Go to Media Browser’
- Launches Media Browser add-in if installed.
- ‘Go to Now Playing’
- ‘Go to weather’, ‘Go to HeatWave’
- Launches HeatWave add-in if installed.
- ‘Play Artist …’
- ‘Queue Artist…’
- ‘Play Album…’
- ‘Queue Album …’
- ‘Play Playlist …’
Kinect for Media Center has the following requirements:
- Microsoft ‘Kinect for Windows’ Sensor
- the ‘Kinect for 360’ sensor is not supported
- Computer with a dual-core, 2.66-GHz or faster processor
- 2-GB RAM (4-GB RAM recommended)
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.