Microsoft has just demoed a Kinect-enabled prototype shopping cart designed to take the guesswork out of your trip to the grocery store. All of the guesswork. In fact, all you are required to do is upload a shopping list and place items in the cart.
A new Kinect is here, sorta. Microsoft is now selling a slightly tweaked (but way more accurate) Kinect sensor for Windows PCs that could revolutionize entire industries, in the same way the iPad has transformed entire industries.
With a sea of Ultrabooks coming out soon and Windows 8 on track for a release by the end of the year, it's time PC makers start differentiating themselves. Tobii's eye-tracking tech is really cool, and word on the block is that Asus is working to integrate Kinect sensors directly into laptops.
For as long as people have been envisioning the house of the future, it almost always features control initiated with the briefest of gestures. Now, in the name of conserving energy that vision could come true with a solar house designed to use an Xbox Kinect to switch off energy consuming devices with simple movements.
Kinect is expected to branch out into small business and banking in 2012. Now the gaming system's sensors could be adapted as a next generation weight measurement system onboard the International Space Station. It would relay data via 3D modeling, and require less space than the current equipment.
New Windows-optimized Kinect hardware is coming in 2012, but another disturbance in the Force says that a super accurate Kinect 2 will be bundled with all future Xboxes.
Having a gesture-detecting peripheral for Xbox 360 and plans for a refined PC version of Kinect isn't enough for Microsoft. It wants Kinect to become the new remote control from the moment you unbox your new TV.
Kinect's a cool piece of kit that's received a lot of hacking love and Microsoft is pushing it as a platform for businesses next year. But Kinect works best at six to eight feet. We sit at computers that are two feet away. See the problem?
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.
Managing your online banking account is boring stuff, unless you're a banker. A Lithuanian software company thinks that clapping and using hand gestures with Kinect would make banking more fun. We're just laughing at the idea.