Looks like the Microsoft Kinect (confirmed in the Guinness World Records as being the fastest selling consumer electronics device) will be built into the future slated Windows 8 notebooks. Along with Siri, the Kinect is a change in the way we interact and operate our electronics from the standard mouse, keyboard, and controllers. If you don’t already know, the Kinect is a motion sensing camera that can be bought as an add on for the Microsoft X-Box game console. It captures the physicality of the user and interprets their motions into actions, mainly for video game playing, but having it built into the next generation of Windows notebooks leads me to believe we will see a lot more non-gaming functionality from the device. Thanks to Microsoft releasing a non-commercial SDK (software development kit) .NET developers have already been writing non-gaming apps for the Kinect in C++/CLI, C# or Visual Basic NET. A new technology plus open access equals a lot of creativity and innovation; from a program used to help teach anatomy:
to a cat grooming avatar:
And though the Kinect results in a lot less broken television sets than its Playstation or Nintendo counterparts it does result in a lot more accidental blows to the head of anyone standing too close to a player (just Youtube “Kinect fails” if you’re interested). It’s hard to imagine that we will ever reach the point of Tom Cruise in “Minority Report,” but in spite of its inherent awkwardness and less accurate control the Kinect, Siri, and other such devices seem to have a huge adoption rate. Sooner than we know we are all going to be spending huge chunks of our days looking like very eccentric mimes. It will be interesting to see how the markets shift as voice and motion control become the new norm in technology, but until then I’ll keep using my mouse.