Can Kinect improve customer relationship management?


Kevin Hughes thinks it can—and we agree. A technical solution professional on the Microsoft Dynamics team in the UK, Hughes has prototyped a Kinect-enabled interface for Dynamics CRM. As Hughes demonstrates in the video below, this interface provides an entirely new way of visualizing and interacting with your customer relationship data in Dynamics CRM.

Hughes has rendered the customer data trees as three-dimensional structures, making relationships among customers strikingly clear. But that’s just the beginning. A user can then easily manipulate the data with simple, intuitive hand gestures to rotate the tree and zoom in and out on any branch of data. And on the drawing board is another set of gestures that would allow the user to access detailed data on a given customer and render it within the 3D model.

As Hughes explains, the dynamic, Kinetic-enabled interface makes it easier to model CRM data in different ways and promotes group collaboration. Thus, it could really improve meeting efficiency, particularly if linked to the upcoming Microsoft Surface Hub with its large pen-and-touch display. Imagine the impact of displaying this data in 3D on a gigantic interactive and writable screen, exploring relationships and brainstorming about new customer services and opportunities. Everyone in the room could participate—as could those in remote locations who are connected via Skype for Business—highlighting points of interest exposed by the 3D model and even annotating them with the Surface Hub pen.

 These two screen shots demonstrate how the Kinect application might allow users to drill down through customer data.

These two screen shots demonstrate how the Kinect application might allow users to drill down
through customer data.

The model relies on the body tracking capabilities of the latest Kinect sensor, so that the user can “peek” at the data simply by moving his or her head. By using two hands, users can rotate the three-dimensional database tree, promoting further exploration. They then can go deeper into the data by pointing to select and making a fist to grab particular customer data fields.

Hughes notes the ease of working with the latest Kinect sensor and its SDK. “Kinect for Windows enables developers to drop NUI into their applications with minimal development,” he says. “The SDK handles all of the complex body tracking with minimal latency, allowing the developer to focus on creating an experience which excites their users.”

The Kinect for Windows Team

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