Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, incl Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Microsoft today detailed what’s coming in the next Xbox One update, which will be largely focused on audio features. New features include a Sound Mixer for apps with Snap, volume controls when chatting with Kinect, and an opt-in to help improve speech recognition.
First up, the new sound mixer will let you control the volume levels of two apps when you’re using Snap. In other words, you’ll be able to decide which app should be louder or quieter, and by how much.
You will also be able to control the volume levels when you’re using Kinect for chat, a feature that probably should have been there from the very start. Both of these audio options will be available under the console’s Settings.
Last but not least, Microsoft says it wants to improve the Xbox One’s voice commands by collecting voice samples. The more it has, the more it can input into its algorithms to improve the console’s responsiveness.
As such, the update will add an opt-in setting to help make voice and speech improvements for Kinect via speech data collection. It will be located under Settings => Privacy & Online Safety => Customizing privacy and online safety => Share Voice Data => Allow.
With features like this, it’s important to emphasize they are not mandatory. “This is completely optional and all voice data shared via this setting will be used for product improvement only,” Microsoft says.
What’s also interesting about this update is that it will be the first one that Xbox One users will be able to grab as soon as it’s available, if they so chose. As you can see above, you’ll find a new “System update” option under Settings. As for when this release will arrive, Microsoft only said it will roll it out “to everyone worldwide in May.” Select Xbox Live members in the US, Europe, and Canada will be getting these features this week (by invite only).
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