Microsoft may add Kinect-like detection to Surface Mini

Would you buy a tablet you could operate by moving your face and hands? Such a feature could be in the works for Microsoft's reported Surface Mini.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablet
Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablet Sarah Tew/CNET

Owners of the much-rumored Surface Mini may be able to control the tablet via face and hand recognition. At least, that's the latest tidbit served up by Chinese blog site WPDang.

Pointing to information from an anonymous news source, WPDang said that the Surface Mini will adopt the same type of somatosensory technology used in Microsoft's Kinect. That means the tablet would be able to recognize and react to your face and hand movements. The source also claims that the feature would work more smoothly than the gesture capability currently offered on Samsung's Galaxy S4 and Note 3.

As for other specs, WPDang says the Surface Mini would sport a screen size of 8 inches but still maintain the same 1080p resolution of its bigger brother. Powered by an Intel Bay Trail processor, the tablet would run Windows 8.1. However, a less robust and undoubtedly cheaper version of the Mini might also pop up equipped with an ARM processor.

When should consumers expect the Surface Mini to actually surface? In September, ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley said that the diminutive tablet may be delayed until the spring of 2014 .

(Via Boy Genius Report)

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Microsoft Surface Pro 2

The Bottom Line: Microsoft's subtly updated Windows 8.1 tablet feels more like Surface Pro 1.5 -- improved battery life and better accessories make it a worthwhile (albeit pricey) laptop replacement, but it's still not an iPad-level category killer. / Read full review

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.



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