The Kinect: More than just a Gaming Device

It’s been some time since Windows was thought to be 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 console.

A version of the device also works with Windows-operated PCs, and almost immediately after its launch in February, people started identifying 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 build applications for it. This is a great move on their part, as it not only promotes creativity 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’ve used the Kinect to create virtual tours of their jets. Another interesting use of the Kinect was discovered by a hospital in Canada. They are using the Kinect’s gesture-recognition to swipe through CT scans. This greatly lowers, if not eradicates, the chance of spreading germs as you don’t have to touch the computer.

Kinect: A Solid Hit

Microsoft hit a home run when they developed the Kinect. The Xbox 360 was last year’s best-selling video gaming console, and they have the Kinect to thank for that. Since November of 2010 Microsoft has sold over 18 million Kinect devices.

The excitement surrounding the Kinect and its many uses can only boost Microsoft’s reputation. They may be on their way to stepping into the “cool” tech company category.

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Joe Markert

Author Joe Markert

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