The Kinect: Inspiring Innovation

May 16th, 2012

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 made the Kinect for Windows that all changed. The Kinect is a motion and voice-sensing device that was initially developed for the Xbox gaming console.

Not surprisingly, a version of the Kinect works with Windows-operated PCs. So almost immediately after this new version was launched in February, companies started discovering 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 intriguing way, by creating a virtual tour of the upgraded interior of the Pathfinder. This worked out well as they only had the outer shell of the Pathfinder to actually display. Using the Kinect, participants could actually “see” what the interior looked liked.

Microsoft is motivating companies to find different uses for the Kinect and even working with them to build applications for it. This is a great 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 create virtual tours of their jets. Another unique use of the Kinect was discovered by a medical center in Canada. They are using the Kinect’s gesture-recognition to swipe through CT scans. This greatly reduces, if not eradicates, the chance of spreading germs since you don’t have to touch the computer.

Kinect: A Solid Hit

When Microsoft came up with the Kinect for Windows they hit a home run. Last year the Xbox 360 was the best selling video game console. In fact, since November 2010, more then 18 million Kinect devices have been sold. This is definitely transforming the way that the consumer views Microsoft products.

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

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