Chinese website WP Dang (via UnwiredView) reports that Microsoft plans to add Kinect-like somatosensory technology to the rumored Surface Mini.
Earlier during the fall season, the rumored "mini" tablet was originally thought to make its debut in October along with the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, but that didn't happen. Insiders claimed that the team working on the tablet was pulled from the project to help get the Xbox One out on the market in time. Thus, now it looks as if the new tablet will arrive in the spring instead.
According to unnamed sources, the Surface Mini will have the ability to recognize the user's face and hand movements. Sources also said it will likely work much smoother than "Air Gestures" used by the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3. The Surface Mini will even supposedly sport a 1080p display, an Intel "Bay Trail" chip, and run the full Windows 8.1.
Looking back across dozens of rumors, Spring 2014 will serve as a launching pad of sorts for the new "devices and services"-based Microsoft. This will be the same time period Windows Phone 8.1 "Blue" will supposedly hit the smartphone scene, and when Microsoft plans to roll out its first minor update to the Windows 8.1 platform. The company has also scheduled its BUILD conference on April 2 to April 4.
Back in September, there was talk that the Surface Mini may ship with the Xbox brand, and the current news about Kinect-like abilities seems to back up those earlier rumors. The actual screen size still remains in question; various reports say it's 7-inches, 7.5-inches and 8-inches. The name may be Xbox Surface rather than Surface Mini.
Sources have claimed that the unannounced tablet will come preloaded with the Windows 8.1 update – likely Windows 8.1.1 – codenamed "Spring 2014 GDR" (aka General Distribution Release). Surface 2 with LTE support will also reportedly arrive in the Spring 2014 window, as well as the Modern UI-style apps for Office 2013.
Spring, it seems, will be a busy time for Microsoft if all the rumors are true.