Last night I had the privilege of attending a party at Microsoft in New York that celebrated the launch of the new XBox 360 Kinect.
In case you haven't been watching TV or reading the newspapers recently, Kinect is Microsoft’s new controllerless game controller that makes your own body the only controller that you will need to play a whole raft of new and innovative XBox games. It is now on sale. Like the Talking Elmo and other must-have gifts of years past I believe that it will be the must-have gift for this Christmas.
The party culminated in a big event in Times Square attended by thousands. (Seriously) and a midnight sale at Toys-R-Us with a waiting line that seemed to go on forever. (Some people in line had waited there for two days!) It seemed like every giant screen and marquee of locations like the Hard Rock Cafe featured advertisements for Kinect. In addition there were 600 dancers in “I Am the Controller” tee-shirts dancing to Dance Central. It also featured an appearance by actor/producer Mark Wahlberg and performances by Ne-Yo and Lady Sovereign. Mark Wahlberg also announced Microsoft’s donation of 4,000 Kinects to the Boy & Girls Clubs of America.
Why am I including a post on Kinect in a blog that is dedicated to news that is of interest to the ISV? Well, there is probably nothing in it today for you, however the long-term implications of a user interface that does not require any input device other than the human body are staggering. Imagine an operating room application that a surgeon could use to flip through x-rays without touching them. Or a stock trading application that can respond to trader’s hand signals.
As an Architect Evangelist I do a lot of presentations on leading-edge Microsoft Technologies. I can hardly wait for the day I can give presentations simply by flicking through the slides with my hand instead of having to use a remote slide changer. The applications could be limitless.