When Microsoft unveiled its new console, it set about the ambitious goal of unifying the living room. The Playstation 4, on the other hand, focused much more on being a game system. By setting their sights on conquering the living room, they may end up conquering the board room as well. Here are seven tools and abilities that takes the Xbox One far beyond gaming as well as the Playstation 4.
1. Xbox Kinect 2
The Xbox Kinect is an integral part of the Xbox One, as opposed to the Playstation Eye, which, while capable, is a peripheral. The Xbox Kinect is so sensitive that it can detect your heartbeat. It has 1080P resolution, as good as a Blu-Ray movie. This high resolution makes it competitive with telepresence systems from Polycom or Cisco. The Kinect 1 has already been modified (or “modded”) to work in all sorts of unconventional ways, including, amusingly, being the eyes of a robotic butler that can serve you beer. The Kinect 2 may be modded to be the eyes and ears of virtual doctors and nurses that can check for medical abnormalities half a world away.
In 2011, Microsoft acquired Skype. Skype is the household name in video chat, including videoconferencing. The PS4 can’t compete on that level, even though their gaming network has a number of game-centric tricks up its sleeve. Skype is planned to be always on, and businesses can take advantage of this by staying in touch with colleagues. Skype can be used as a window into other satellite offices, or be used to interview people from their own home.
3. 4K Resolution and 3D video
4K resolution means that video has 4,000 lines of horizontal resolution, compared to HDTV which has 720, and Blu-Ray, which has 1080 lines. The PS4 supports 4K resolution for videos and pictures, but has no plans to offer 4K games. The Xbox One, in theory, can have a 4K game on the day of release, although there are no known games that have 4K at this time. The 4K resolution is one more forward-thinking decision that Microsoft has made, and this high resolution might one day mean doing networking through avatars in lieu of going to conferences.
In their presentation, Microsoft showed off a feature called “snap.” With this feature, all it takes is a gesture to make windows be larger or smaller on part of the screen. The snap feature they displayed was seeing a movie and looking up information on it on IMDB. The snap feature may be used as part of presentations to show several windows at once. Together with the previously mentioned features, make for great ideas to stay in touch with clients, and make compelling visuals.
5. Gesture Control
“Snap” is just one of the many gestures that Xbox users will be able to use. You’ll be able to wave to the Kinect to use your hand to control the cursor rather than a mouse, remote, or game controller. You can hover to select the item you want, and swipe your arms to scroll the screen. The new Kinect is sure to have more detail, and with more computing power comes more possibility for gesture control. For an email application either as an app or on the web, perhaps you’ll be able to open an email by pointing to it, and deleting by swinging your hand over your shoulder in a “throwing out” motion.
6. Voice Control
During the unveiling demo, Microsoft showed off the power of voice control by simply saying aloud the name of a TV channel. This implies that the Xbox One can be programmed by a cable or satellite provider the scheme of its entire channel lineup. There are a few ways that the voice commands can be used in a business setting. First, and most obvious, it can open a Skype session in a second. In a presentation, you can say “Xbox, next” or “next slide” to move the presentation along. It can also play video if one is cued up. Hopefully videos and other presentation tools can be voice tagged, so you can say “play widget-production video.”
7. Cloud Computing
The Xbox One has one more trick up its sleeve. The Xbox One pulls power from the cloud to augment the processing power of the Xbox One. According to Jeff Henshaw, Xbox incubation and prototyping group manager, “We’re provisioning for developers for every physical Xbox One we build, we’re provisioning the CPU and storage equivalent of three Xbox Ones on the cloud,” The Xbox One will be able to enhance its capabilities both now and in the future, using the Microsoft’s massive cloud server farm.
The PS4 will undoubtedly be a powerful gaming system. But the Xbox One clearly has a much wider scope (which disproves this theory), with games being just one piece of the puzzle, and a piece that many owners will never use. If Microsoft combines its other Intellectual Properties, like Outlook, we may see an insanely powerful system that will sit comfortably in many SMB offices.
By: Reuben Yonatan - CEO, Editor-in-Chief, Cloud Enthusiast at GetVoIP