Kinect: Watching You Work, Soon.
Rumors have been swirling for awhile about Kinect’s impending integration into devices not traditionally called “Xbox 360,” so this one comes as no surprise. Microsoft is busy working on an embedded version of Kinect for laptops (and probably) tablets. This iteration of the polarizing tech aims to replace the ditzy little webcam found on typical mobile computers, enabling a slew of gesture and voice controls no doubt geared toward the new Windows 8 user interface. But the big question on everyone’s mind is: how will it work?
Gaming seems like the most obvious use to the fine folks of The Daily, for a fairly obvious reason: that’s all it’s really being used for right now (awesome hacks notwithstanding, of course).
But what else might the system be used for? For starters, voice control of applications and the operating system. Think about the current integration of Kinect voice commands on Xbox 360, but integrated throughout the entire operating system or embedded into apps.
Another possibility, hinted at about a year ago, is the idea of facial recognition logon. This already works with Kinect on Xbox–at least, it does if the lighting conditions are right–but in the up-close space of a laptop it should be very accurate pretty much all the time. Better hope you don’t have any local doppelgangers, though.
Gesture support for the new Windows 8 UI is a given, I think. The OS was clearly built with the idea in mind, and combined with both voice and tough could signal a paradigm shift in how we interact with our computers. If they can pull it off, such a combination will make Microsoft’s competitors look like they’re standing still.
What are your thoughts, though? How do you see Kinect integration in laptops and tablets affecting the way you do the things you do? Sound off in the comments!