We have known for some time that the video gaming industry is leading significant innovation trends in the software and hardware industry.  I stumbled upon this Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today (from January 2011)  that documents what the gaming industry has brought to defense, collaboration and even the entertainment industry.  I think that one of the biggest innovations brought to us by the video game industry that has yet to be untapped is the Microsoft Kinect.

If you have no idea what a Kinect is let me spend a few seconds bringing you up to speed.  The Kinect is basically a motion detector, voice recognition and camera all built into a device that allows for deviceless control of your xBox.  Meaning that you don’t need a remote to control a game, play a movie, etc. 

Cool I know, that’s why I bought one.  However, not for the reason you might expect.  I purchased it for the kids.  My kids are young.  Handling a controller would be impossible and I shuttered in fear at them using something like a Wii.  Although flat screens have come down in price I don’t have a desire to replace mine once a year because a controller went through the screen.  However, there are some really great educational games out there and I thought that during the 110 degree Texas heat this might be a good change up.  I must admit that I was a bit skeptical at first.  These things never work as advertised.  But it did.  And it worked well.

Fast forward six months.  As any self respecting geek I started to wonder what if.  Microsoft at the time wasn’t allowing much if any customization, but now it appears that the flood gates have opened.  People are beginning to put the device into action.  And now, you don’t need an xBox!

So what is it being used for?  The video below will give you a preview:

Cool huh?  You would be right to stop right there and imagine the possibilities.  However, I came across this next gem.  It’s six minutes long, but I assure you it’s worth your time.

This video highlights two big innovations with real commercial potential.  One is the the virtual content and integrations via a pointing device (read your iPad or phone).  Secondly was the in the last part.  The virtual partial interaction with real world objects (the desk/drawer/garbage can).

So what does this mean?  Simple, no need to carry a laptop or in some cases any device.  Because of the Kinect your apps can go with you anywhere this system is in place.  Your digital life, apps, etc are in the cloud.  Innovation and collaboration anywhere, anytime.  You now become the device.  The technology is just a platform to display it.  No need for keyboards, mice, monitors, etc.  Exciting times for sure!

If you would like to learn more, or even get funded by Microsoft for developing a great idea I would recommend checking out the Kinect Accelerator page.

Tags: , , , , | Categories: Kinect | Microsoft | Opinion | Software | Strategy | Technology

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