Microsoft Kinect: For gamers this November; for business users ... later

Summary:Microsoft officials have shared the final name (Kinect) for its Project Natal control device, and are saying to expect it to be available this November. Why should enterprise users care?

Microsoft officials have shared the final name (Kinect) for its Project Natal c

ontrol device, and are saying to expect it to be available this November.

(Update: The actual availability date is November 4 in North America, with a promise of 15 games tailored for it at launch.)

Why should enterprise users care? In April this year, CEO Steve Ballmer said the gesture-recognition camera/sensor Natal/Kinect device will be the most interesting product the company will release this year. Microsoft won't be touting the device as an accompaniment to a PC for a while, but that's where the Redmondians are going with this. A swish of a hand will advance a slide show; a flick of the wrist will allow you to scroll without using a mouse or touchpad.

Blogger Manan Kakkar recently posted about a p

atent Microsoft is seeking that builds on the Kinect-like gesture-centric experience in the PC space.

Microsoft unveiled the new Kinect name at the E3 show in Los Angeles. The company also showed off some Kinect-enabled games and a a new video chat service at the confab. Microsoft still hasn't shared pricing for Kinect, but it is expected to be $150 or less by most company watchers.

Images: Project Natal becomes Kinect for Xbox 360

Kinect is part of Microsoft's continuing quest to bring to market natural user interface (NUI) technologies, like touch, voice and gesture-recognition. Maybe it's also part of a grand plan to force users to continue to exercise (even if that just means by waving a hand) while being increasingly tied to our PCs?

Topics: Microsoft, Mobility

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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