Microsoft to bring hands-free Kinect-like gestures to Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 screenshot Start screen 780_wide

Microsoft is adding a ton of small changes to Windows 8.1 that piled up to become a very significant update to Windows 8. Recently the company shared many of those changes that are coming (at least for now) in the Preview release due at the end June, such as the return of the Start button, a more customizable Start screen, search improvements, new Windows 8 apps and more.

The software giant also announced that Windows 8.1 will include a few more built-in apps (Food & Drink and Health & Fitness, among other apps). But the interesting feature worth to highlight is the hands-free mode that Microsoft is adding to Food & Drink app that let users control the app with Kinect-like gestures. This means that you can launch the app, look for recipes, flip pages, create shopping list and more without even touching the screen, or using a keyboard and mouse.

The company hasn’t completely disclose how the new hands-free gesture technology will work, but it’s been said that the software will function with the same hardware already available in your Windows 8 PC, and it’ll use a traditional webcam to capture and process of your gestures.

Although this is an exciting feature, if you ask me, for now is limited to the Food & Drink Windows 8 app. The big question though, is if Microsoft will open up a set of APIs for developers to incorporate similar hands-free features into their own apps.

SEE ALSO: Windows 8.1 Preview: Highlighting everything you need know

For sure there will be more information about the new Kinect-like gesture coming to Windows 8.1, but probably not until the BUILD conference at the end of the month.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].