The Kinect: Changing Our View of Windows

When was the last time we saw a Windows product which captured the essence of “cool”? Before recently it had been a while, but when Microsoft created the Kinect for Windows that all changed. The Kinect is a motion and voice-sensing device that was originally developed for the Xbox gaming console.

Microsoft in February introduced Kinect for Windows. This version of the device works with, not surprisingly, Windows-operated personal computers. Now a number of users are putting the device to work in unanticipated ways.

Innovative Uses for the Kinect

For instance, at the Chicago Auto Show a few months ago, the chief marketing manager for Nissan North America used Kinect for Windows to create a virtual tour of the Pathfinder’s upgraded interior. This turned out to be especially beneficial since the marketing manager only had the Pathfinder’s empty shell to exhibit at the Auto Show. A large screen powered by Kinect showed visitors exactly what they’d be seeing if they were actually sitting within the completed body of the new Pathfinder. The screen, for instance, displayed the car’s dual moon roofs and several other features.

Microsoft is motivating companies to find different uses for the Kinect and even working with them to develop applications for it. This is an excellent move on their part, as it not only encourages creativity but it also puts a Microsoft product at the heart 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 hospital in Canada. They are using the Kinect’s gesture-recognition to swipe through CT scans. This greatly lessens, if not removes, the risk of spreading germs because you don’t have to touch the computer.

Kinect: A Solid Hit

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

The Kinect has numerous uses outside of what it was originally developed for. Microsoft actually developed something which is not only useful, but regarded as cool. This change in attitude toward Microsoft could help the company in several ways.

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