“A depth image of a scene may be received, observed, or captured by a device. The depth image may then be analyzed to determine whether the depth image includes a human target. For example, the depth image may include one or more targets including a human target and non-human targets. Each of the targets may be flood filled and compared to a pattern to determine whether the target may be a human target. If one or more of the targets in the depth image includes a human target, the human target may be scanned. A skeletal model of the human target may then be generated based on the scan.”Article from Conceivably Tech and more petent images after the break
From Conceivably Tech:
"The background description of the patent filing refers to the overall Microsoft claim that natural movements are easier to apply by users rather than having to learn the features of a game controller. However, there is one significant difference. This particular patent does not describe a user building an avatar to be represented on the screen. It describes a technology that actually scans a gamer’s body to automatically create an avatar – which we would then actually call a surrogate, if we take a cue from the 2009 movie Surrogates.
Much of the player rendering appears to be about flood-filling virtual bodies, but also body shapes (which most of would want to still modify in game environments anyway): “In another embodiment, to determine the location of the shoulders, the bitmask may be parsed downward a certain distance from the head. For example, the top of the bitmask that may be associated with the top of the head may have an X value associated therewith. A stored value associated with the typical distance from the top of the head to the top of the shoulders of a human body may then added to the X value of the top of the head to determine the X value of the shoulders.”
The result? We are clearly on a path to project ourselves into virtual environments, beyond avatars and beyond actual avatars that we create today as Miis, predefined players or Kinect avatars that allow us to resemble the look we desire in a cartoonish way. A next-generation Kinect and much more powerful sensors, cameras, processors and graphics engines could transport the quest for ultimate reality in video games – a quest we have followed in video games with artificial and imaginary characters over the past two decades. In the not too distant future, you may be able to see yourself on the video screen, exploring and acting in a virtual world. You could call yourself a surrogate, then living in the Matrix. Scary? Possibly. But exciting nevertheless."