Kinect might have started out as a Minority Report dream come true, inspiring all sorts of cool hacks, but it's kind of obvious that the games coming out for it are still of the "casual" genre. Microsoft's bigger vision for the Kinect is for it to revolutionize businesses.
To anybody paying any attention to what's happening with Kinect, Microsoft's decision to release a SDK for businesses to develop tools and apps is really not surprising. In fact, after announcing an SDK for Kinect to officially communicate with Windows, it's been a given that Microsoft wants Kinect to be more than just a gaming peripheral.
Earlier this month, a Lithuanian company announced its plans to use Kinect to make online banking more interactive and more fun.
The Financial Times writes that Microsoft is already "working with over 200 companies across 25 industries ranging from healthcare, education, advertising and the automotive industry" to create "killer apps" that'll completely revolutionize things.
Alex Kipman, Microsoft's director of incubation for Xbox says, "I can guarantee you that 12 months from now, educational, academic and commercial applications will look nothing like what they are today."
Personally, I hope Kipman's vision is right. We've seen how the iPad and iPhone have opened up the world to autistic people as well as assisting blind folk like Stevie Wonder. It's no understatement that using iPads instead of printing menus, or as textbook replacements have saved restaurants and educational institutions lots of money.
The Kinect has the potential to do the same. The only thing left to decide is whether people will get behind Kinects and starting waving, jumping, and gesturing to perform tasks that are normally generally tame.
Microsoft is expected to sell a commercial SDK of Kinect in 2012.
Via Financial Times