Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Kinect: Inspiring Innovation

It’s been some time since Windows was regarded as cool but the Kinect may change all that. The Kinect is a voice and motion-sensing device that was initially designed as a feature for the Xbox gaming system.


A version of the device also works with Windows-operated PCs, and almost immediately after its launch in February, people started coming up with innovative ways to use it.


Innovative Uses for the Kinect


At the Chicago Auto Show the Chief Marketing Manager for Nissan North America used the Kinect in an interesting way, by creating a virtual tour of the enhanced interior of the Pathfinder. This worked out well as they only had the outer shell of the Pathfinder to physically display. Using the Kinect, participants could actually “see” what the interior looked liked.


Microsoft is encouraging companies to find different uses for the Kinect and even cooperating with them to develop applications for it. This is a great move on their part, as it not only promotes ingenuity but it also puts a Microsoft product at the center of the creative development. One company that has worked with Microsoft in this way is Boeing. They have used the Kinect to build virtual tours of their jets. Another unique use of the Kinect was discovered by a medical facility in Canada. They are using the Kinect’s gesture-recognition to swipe through CT scans. This greatly reduces, if not eradicates, the possibility of spreading germs since you don’t have to touch the computer.


Kinect: A Solid Hit


The Kinect is a hit for Microsoft. Last year the device helped turn the Xbox 360 into the year's best-selling gaming console. In fact, Microsoft has sold over 18 million Kinect devices since November of 2010. It makes sense then, that a version developed specifically for Windows would be a hit, too.


The Kinect has many uses outside of what it was initially developed for. Microsoft actually developed something which is not only useful, but thought to be cool. This transformation in attitude toward Microsoft could help the company in lots of ways.

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