We’ve heard what the critics have to say about Microsoft’s Kinect project and its debut on the Xbox 360. And while there are still a few bugs to work out, it looks like Microsoft isn’t going to stop at gaming.
According to Kotaku, Microsoft is looking a the bigger picture with Kinect in terms of voice recognition and body mapping. Kinect Creative Director Kudo Tsunoda wants us to look forward to a world where computers can understand and interact with their users. He makes the point that right now, any voice-recognition technology has to be activated, or that it isn’t always listening. Instead, Microsoft’s long-term goal is to integrate everything so that you’re constantly plugged in.
The Next Step
Putting vocal commands in computers is the next logical step, and with Kinect Microsoft already has the framework to do that. Plus, they can enter the multitouch field without the actual touching. This way they can bypass the main issue that Apple is having with integrating iOS with it’s computers: reaching out to touch your computer screen is awkward. Maybe Steve Jobs should have jumped on the Kinect technology when he had the chance in 2008.
I think that we’re going to see a big struggle in the coming years to integrate technologies–i.e. television, gaming consoles, cell phones, computers. We’ve already seen Microsoft broaden their market share with the Windows Phone 7, plus they just opened their first retail shop in Minnesota’s Mall of America, right across from an Apple Store. That means that Microsoft is copying Apple’s business model, and it looks like it’s working.
To read the rest of Brian Crecente’s insightful post on the future of Kinect, head on over to Kotaku. What do you think? Will we be yelling commands at our computer screens within the next 5 years, or is it just a pipe dream?