Microsoft Turning Kinect into a Business Tool Early Next Year

Posted by patrickklepek (5981 posts) -

While Kinect has, to date, been leveraged as an interface for video games, it’s not hard to imagine its uses outside the realm of an Xbox 360.

Enthusiasts ripped apart the Kinect soon after launch, leading to a steady release of great Kinect hackery videos, and Microsoft will expand the device’s official usefulness to outside games early next year with the launch of the “Kinect for Windows commercial program.”

200 businesses--including Toyota, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Razorfish--have reportedly signed up for a Kinect pilot program, gaining early access to the updated software development kit.

If you’re interested in just messing around with the official tools, however, the SDK is already available.

#1 Posted by patrickklepek (5981 posts) -

While Kinect has, to date, been leveraged as an interface for video games, it’s not hard to imagine its uses outside the realm of an Xbox 360.

Enthusiasts ripped apart the Kinect soon after launch, leading to a steady release of great Kinect hackery videos, and Microsoft will expand the device’s official usefulness to outside games early next year with the launch of the “Kinect for Windows commercial program.”

200 businesses--including Toyota, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Razorfish--have reportedly signed up for a Kinect pilot program, gaining early access to the updated software development kit.

If you’re interested in just messing around with the official tools, however, the SDK is already available.

#2 Edited by Bladefire (214 posts) -

Cool, seems like some interesting uses for Kinect could come out of this.

#3 Posted by Vexxan (4623 posts) -

Took them long enough! The things people have already done with Kinect are just...crazy amazing. 

#4 Posted by lilarchie232 (728 posts) -

the voice command stuff could definitely be put to use cleverly

#5 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I am honestly amazed that they hadn't done this sooner. It's kind of weird that this stuff debuted in games, when most of the tech is from other parts of MS.

#6 Edited by Vampire_Chibi (169 posts) -

Yehhhh, i'm not doing that, but someone alot more dedicated and with alot more willpower will use it for something cool

which i then will watch on youtube.. =P

#7 Posted by zFUBARz (637 posts) -

I've said kinect could be a fascinating and far reaching technology some day. Can't wait for the fall xbox update to get better dashboard integration.

But I want a day when kinect is in my car, in my fridge, hell put that shit on my house so I don't need a key someday and I'll be happy.

#8 Posted by Stubee (384 posts) -

Good to hear how open MS are being when it comes to kinect stuff. Hope to see some crazy shit!

#9 Posted by ShatterShock (70 posts) -

Gotta hand it to Microsoft, when I first heard of the Kinect I wrote it off as a desperate attempt to answer the Wiimote using Playstation Eye technology. I was certain it'd be as much a failure as the Playstation Move is turning out to be, but not only did the Kinect revitalize the 360 by biting off a bit of the casual market, it will also continue to make Microsoft money in actual work environments. The boys in Redmond struck gold on this one.

#10 Posted by Zidd (1857 posts) -

When Kinect works its fantastic but when it breaks its depressing and hilarious at the same time. Watch a quick look of any kinect game and you will see what I mean.

#11 Edited by jozzy (2042 posts) -

You know what, I am going to take that SDK and try to do make something cool with the SDK. Nice challenge. Problem with me is, not a lot of creativity...

#12 Posted by beefmotron (13 posts) -

I really really want a nice home theater pc setup that's controllable with kinect

#13 Posted by JimmyJackJones (81 posts) -

Well this ought to lead to some hilariously uncomfortable situations during business presentations. "Now if you follow the trend here...no HERE...no, GOD DAMMIT KINECT I'M POINTING OVER HERE!"

#14 Posted by morrelloman (608 posts) -

So I can put kinect on my resume?

#15 Posted by jaks (246 posts) -

It's good to see Microsoft expand Kinect into other areas. I remember there was a story awhile back about a Canadian hospital using Kinect so their surgeons could turn pages and navigate around on their monitors during surgery without having to have someone there doing it for them.

It's equally awesome to watch MS frantically try to recover their R&D costs on this stupid gimmick.

#16 Posted by gunslingerNZ (1916 posts) -

@ShatterShock said:

Gotta hand it to Microsoft, when I first heard of the Kinect I wrote it off as a desperate attempt to answer the Wiimote using Playstation Eye technology. I was certain it'd be as much a failure as the Playstation Move is turning out to be, but not only did the Kinect revitalize the 360 by biting off a bit of the casual market, it will also continue to make Microsoft money in actual work environments. The boys in Redmond struck gold on this one.

While it's been a sales and marketing success I wouldn't exactly call it a success as a product. They've suckered people into buying it but would those people really be keen to buy in again given the products support to date? My guess is no, short term success begets long term failures in this case.

#17 Posted by krazy_kyle (715 posts) -

Havent people been hacking the kinect and doing stuff like this already?

#18 Posted by I_smell (3924 posts) -

"This car runs on Kinect".

TOYOTA: PAUSE!

#19 Posted by admanb (226 posts) -
@JimmyJackJones said:

Well this ought to lead to some hilariously uncomfortable situations during business presentations. "Now if you follow the trend here...no HERE...no, GOD DAMMIT KINECT I'M POINTING OVER HERE!"

Someone else in the room: "Kinect -- porn!" 
#20 Posted by Ockman (201 posts) -

Kinect for Windows? How many people sit 6-8 feet away from their friggin PC?

#21 Posted by BurningStickMan (235 posts) -

Eh, they'll probably just use it for glorified videoconferencing.

Hopefully not something like remote surgery...

#22 Posted by nivi (121 posts) -

@Ockman: People doing presentations with projectors?

#23 Posted by Itwastuesday (981 posts) -

you know what this office needs? mini-game collections. BUT WHERE CAN WE GET MINI-GAMES FOR THE OFFICE

#24 Posted by Blubba (527 posts) -

It will be great for filming porn! It just needs to know where to focus.

#25 Posted by Katkillad (142 posts) -

Finally it will be good for something!

#26 Edited by Tan (425 posts) -

@I_smell said:

"This car runs on Kinect".

TOYOTA: PAUSE!

Had me laughing for a while.

#27 Posted by afrofools (1357 posts) -

@morrelloman said:

So I can put kinect on my resume?

Experience controlling advanced human interface devices, and controlling software with several layers of abstraction.

#28 Posted by Brendan (7974 posts) -

@I_smell said:

"This car runs on Kinect".

TOYOTA: PAUSE!

Best comment of the day.

@gunslingerNZ said:

@ShatterShock said:

Gotta hand it to Microsoft, when I first heard of the Kinect I wrote it off as a desperate attempt to answer the Wiimote using Playstation Eye technology. I was certain it'd be as much a failure as the Playstation Move is turning out to be, but not only did the Kinect revitalize the 360 by biting off a bit of the casual market, it will also continue to make Microsoft money in actual work environments. The boys in Redmond struck gold on this one.

While it's been a sales and marketing success I wouldn't exactly call it a success as a product. They've suckered people into buying it but would those people really be keen to buy in again given the products support to date? My guess is no, short term success begets long term failures in this case.

I think what this story is showing is that Kinect's success is beyond just video games. Given time and proper execution from Microsoft executives, Kinect could become the most successful thing to come out of the Xbox program in terms of the reach of it's technology. In a way, Kinect is cooler then it's video game applications and could end up being wildly profitable for other means (not that it isn't wildly profitable already) especially if, given that it's tech wouldn't be stagnated by game development standards, could keep improving for other applications at a rapid rate.

Also, if this becomes a thing it must be on an episode of The Office.

#29 Posted by YukoAsho (2092 posts) -

@BurningStickMan said:

Eh, they'll probably just use it for glorified videoconferencing.

Hopefully not something like remote surgery...

Yeah, that would be.... Less than ideal.

#30 Posted by gunslingerNZ (1916 posts) -

@Brendan: No doubt but I'm sure they were developing this sort of motion control software long before the thought of using it in the Xbox came to mind and if it's going to be sold as an enterprise product it cannot be called "Kinect". So really anything which comes out of Kinect in the business world is only really tangentially related to what's happened on the Xbox.

#31 Posted by selbie (1960 posts) -

So now employees have an excuse to act like dickheads in front of their boss.

#32 Posted by Slaker117 (4843 posts) -

Yeah, I don't think there was ever any question that Microsoft would try leveraging their motion tracking technology in other ways. Kinect always seemed like something they've been developing quietly for years without a clearly defined purpose, and after the success of the Wii, they figured why not throw it at gaming to make some money back while continuing R&D. Flailing idiotically in front of your TV to score points was never going to be the true home for that tech.

#33 Posted by Talis12 (488 posts) -

i can see this being used for watching my movies and stuff.. but not in the current state kinect is working at. the idea of kinect has a lot of potential but looking at any game using the device you can only laugh at it

#34 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

About time actually. Should have done it earlier. The Kinect has some great potential from the hacks we've seen out of the Kinect.

#35 Posted by blaakmawf (543 posts) -

Cool.

#36 Edited by MaddProdigy (1041 posts) -

Protestors on the streets! Lindsey Lohan doing nude photo shoots! Microsoft doing something very cool, and not inherently profitable, with their technology! These are crazy times we live in, dear god.

Someone over at Microsoft is smoking some powerful stuff, and I'm glad to hear it. I think this will turn out to be a very, very smart move for them in the extreme long run. Akin to Apple's introduction of the iPhone, but without as much flair. But in the next 5-10 we will definitely see some very cool uses of this, or similar technology, integrated into parts of daily life.

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