The Kinect: Inspiring Innovation

Remember when Windows was considered cool? It’s been a long time. Nevertheless, the Kinect – a motion and voice-sensing device initially meant as a nifty feature for the Xbox gaming system – could help Windows regain its long-lost coolness quotient.

Not surprisingly, a version of the Kinect is compatible with Windows-operated PCs. So shortly after this new version was launched in February, companies started coming up with creative, out-of-the-box uses for 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 actually display. By 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 create applications for it. This is a good move on their part, as it not only promotes inventiveness 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’ve used the Kinect to develop virtual tours of their jets. Another interesting use of the Kinect was discovered by a healthcare facility in Canada. They are utilizing the Kinect’s gesture-recognition to swipe through CT scans. This greatly lowers, if not removes, the chance of spreading germs because you don’t have to touch the computer.

Kinect: A Solid Hit

The Kinect has been a hit for Microsoft. Last year the device helped turn the Xbox 360 into the year’s best-selling computer game console. The fact is, Microsoft has sold more than 18 million Kinect devices since November of 2010. It makes sense then, that a version developed specifically for Windows would be a hit, too.

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

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