The Kinect: Inspiring Innovation

When was the last time we saw a Windows product which captured the essence of “cool”? Before recently it had been a while, but when Microsoft made the Kinect for Windows that all changed. The Kinect is a gesture and voice-sensing device that was originally developed for the Xbox gaming console.

Microsoft in February unveiled Kinect for Windows. This version of the device works with, not surprisingly, Windows-operated pcs. Now a number of users are putting the device to work in unexpected ways.

Innovative Uses for the Kinect

Earlier this year the Chief Marketing Manager for Nissan North America created a virtual tour of the Pathfinder’s interior at the Chicago Auto Show. The only thing that was actually on display was the outer shell of the Pathfinder, but individuals could see the upgraded interior on a large screen by using the Kinect.

Microsoft is also encouraging companies to utilize the Kinect creatively by working with them to create custom Kinect applications. Nearly 350 companies today are working with Microsoft in this way. For example, Boeing uses the device to create virtual tours of its 737 jets. Medical providers at a hospital in Canada are also using the device’s gesture-recognition to swipe through CT scans, removing the risk of touching germs on a keyboard or mouse.

Kinect: A Solid Hit

When Microsoft came up with the Kinect for Windows they hit a home run. Last year the Xbox 360 was the best selling video game console. In fact, since November 2010, more then 18 million Kinect devices have been sold. This is definitely transforming the way that the consumer views Microsoft products.

It may seem hard to believe, but Windows and its creator might have actually found something that is not only useful, but cool, which can do nothing but good for their reputation.