> Kinect Effect

Kinect Effect

Posted on Sunday, December 4, 2011 | No Comments

When I first saw the demo of ‘Project Natal’ I knew it was cool technology and was blown away with just how accurately the motion capture performed.  It was the next wave of interaction.


Microsoft then rebranded as Kinect, launched it with some games and released it for XBox.  That Christmas I was tempted to buy one – very tempted.  But I’d already fallen into that trap before with the Nintendo Wii – I was amazed with that device and bought one, only to later discover that the hook of a gimmick controller didn’t make me want to get back into computer games and after a year or so, the console now sits completely unused.


The Kinect had appeal, but it was also expensive albeit a very cool gimmick that I thought I would get bored with very quickly and would then never use – so I didn’t get one. 


But my love of Kinect hasn’t stopped yet and I’m still very much in admiration of the technology; I just need a reason to buy one that isn’t going to disappear with boredom or repetitive use.  At this years CES, Steve Ballmer announced some improvements coming to XBox and Kinect – the launch of Microsoft Avatar to virtually interact with your friends, interactive television, movie integrations – speaking with your XBox to play, rewind and pause.


Again, demonstrations that the Kinect definitely had a lot more potential to unlock, but the features announced were very US specific – the UK didn’t yet have these online services that XBox could integrate into (LoveFilm vs NetFlix for example in movie streaming terms).


Microsoft haven’t stopped yet though and recently started showing the following advertisement:



The video is an admission that Microsoft haven’t thought of every application for the Kinect technology and they are almost willing to open up the technology (in a controlled way), for the customers and developers to tap into using their SDK (Software Development Kit).


It’s rumoured that Microsoft have partnered up with a number of companies in different sectors to help develop further uses – such as the medical examples shown in the video. 


Next year, Microsoft will also be releasing the Kinect 2; an updated version of the hardware that is rumoured to be able to lip read!


The Kinect journey has only just begun and there is clearly still a long way to go yet, but Microsoft and others are clearly working on it – just search YouTube for all of the different hacks and projects people have put together.  And I still think its cool technology.

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