20 years from now, I like to think Kinect will have advanced to the point that it'll be able to serve us drinks and listen, absent-mindedly buffing a glass, as we unburden ourselves of our various emotional, sexual and financial problems. Perhaps that'll happen while the Xbox One is still on sale.
The console's included sensors are backed by a set of fancy algorithms that will become more and more used to your voice and presence over time, cue improvements to recognition and responsiveness. Spend a few minutes each day talking to your Kinect, allowing it to soak up your personality, and perhaps you won't need that tedious old husband, wife, girlfriend and/or boyfriend. Here are a few particular control phrases Kinect fanciers might want to commit to memory, based on our time with pre-release builds of various games and last week's Xbox One event in London.
1. "Xbox snap", "Xbox unsnap", "Xbox switch"
To start with the basics, snapping is how you'll run a game and an app or two apps side by side. One item of software will fill up the majority of the screen, while the other appears as a sidebar down the right of the screen. Sadly, games can't be displayed in this fashion, so your dreams of playing Ryse in ultra-distended Vertical Vision won't be fulfilled for the moment.
Still, the possibilities remain considerable. You could watch TV while you're playing a game, or view Machinima walkthroughs, or size up a friend's recent achievements via the Activity Feed, or browse the web, or make use of a dedicated third-party app such as the ESPN app. To get rid of the snapped app, say "Xbox unsnap". To swap it for the app in the centre, say "Xbox switch".
2. "Xbox, show my stuff"
The cutting edge of next generation trolling, a command that instantly loads up your own dashboard preferences, including custom colours and your Pinned software. Take that, grandma! Sorry, but you'll have to watch Coronation Street through next door neighbour's front window - I've got some Dead Rising 3 achievements to earn. Of course, there's nothing to stop Granny saying "Xbox, show my stuff" in order to turn the tables. Hmm, perhaps the Xbox One should come with some sort of Referee feature, which limits how many times you can say "Show my stuff" in swift succession.
3. "Xbox, record that"
Saying this automatically saves and uploads the last 30 seconds of gameplay, so you can quickly preserve a truly legendary Killer Instinct combo or Battlefield 4 sniper kill for posterity. Alternatively, say "Xbox, snap Upload Studio" to access a basic set of recording and editing tools - up to five minutes of gameplay can be preserved in this fashion, though you can also edit together these five minute chunks into longer videos if you like.
4. "Xbox, answer without video"
The Xbox One's Skype app allows buttery-smooth 1080p video chatting, which may not be what you're after if you're (e.g.) wearing naught but a hand towel and odd socks. Fortunately, you can tell Kinect to answer a call without using the camera, saving your friends from any potential psychological trauma.
5. "Need medic", "need a ride", "need ammo"
Bullets, vehicles and medikits - the bread, butter and, er, lettuce of Battlefield multiplayer. Thanks to Kinect, you won't need to risk even the briefest of interruptions in order to make use of the squad chat window - just call out one of the phrases above, and allies will be notified. You could also use your headset mic to cut out the middle man, of course, but direct, one-to-one communication during a round of Conquest isn't always the wisest idea. Some of those 12 year olds have filthy mouths.