Microsoft wants Kinect in everything

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Microsoft’s Kinect is some interesting technology that uses infra-red technology for body scanning. It has hundreds, if not thousands of practical uses – but virtually none of them really make games any better. That doesn’t mean that Microsoft isn’t still trying to push the technology – in fact, they want it in everything, including TV’s, notebooks and tablets.

Speaking at TechForum in Seattle this week, Microsoft’s Craig Mundie laid out the company’s plans to integrate Kinect in to just about every future consumer device – though admits there are some technical hurdles involved.

“You want to be as cheap as possible and physically as small as possible. My dream is to get a Kinect into the bezel of something like this [Surface tablet],” Mundie said.

“It’s not gonna happen tomorrow, but we can see a path towards that sort of thing,” he said.

There are a number of challenges involved in making Kinect suitable for on-the-go use.

“It turns out it’s infrared so when you go out in the sunlight the sun is a big infrared source that drowns it out,” Mundie said.

“There’s a whole bunch of problems, not just miniaturisation, in designing the sensors so they actually do what you expect them to do in all of the environments.”

They have an even bigger challenge though; convincing people to care.

Rumour suggests the next Xbox will feature an integrated, improved version of Kinect that might enable that whole Minority Report-styled interface control we all expected when Kinect was first shown off.

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Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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