Kinect on Windows–The Next Big Thing?

One of the news items that got hidden in the weeds in all the news that came out of CES was Kinect being supported on Windows. Kinect, till today, has been a gamers reserve with most Xbox enthusiasts
raving about how Kinect has changed the way they play with their consoles. I have had a first hand look at it – playing with a 5 year old – and I was amazed how EASY it was for the dude to understand and
follow the Kinect gestures. Now EASY is not a word you usually associate with the Dark Side – oops Microsoft. However with Kinect, they have come up with a technology which has the potential to be a
game changer – and a major one at that.

We believe Kinect is going to be an interesting and popular way to interact with devices – especially display devices. Today, the best way of interaction is in terms of touch screens but those entail physical proximity to the display device. So in a sense, Kinect is supposed to bring the same paradigm change that a remote control for a TV brought vs a TV mounted control (e.g. touch screens).

While Apple and others ran away with the touch screen device segment, we believe that Kinect is a device which will bring remote gestures and interactions closer to your home. So what are some of the startups / apps / uses this could spur –

a) Interacting with the OS for basic actions through Kinect
b) Voice + Kinect apps (Siri ++) – Imagine replying to chats, writing emails by voice (voice as a keyboard replacement)
c) Moving from a click based approach to a gesture based approach in app consumption
d) Niche apps in Healthcare, Transportation and other sectors
e) Great machine learning apps leveraging the gesture movements
f) In built Kinect sensors in TVs – inbuilt TV apps a la Samsung apps
g) Minority report becoming a reality

Is this going to spur on a new set of app development companies? Present app companies are woefully slow adapting, so this might be a good chance to start a great set of developers on a few cool products.

Some interesting links on the same topic –  

a) Open Kinect

b) Kinect App contest

c) MSDN blog on the same topic

d) Kinect SDK download

e) Kinect Patent

Apparently Microsoft has partnered with 200 developers to start developing innovative apps around Kinect – sure should be space to watch out for!

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