Kinect for Windows announced

It was bound to happen. Soon after Xbox launched the revolutionary Kinect sensor/controller for the Xbox 360 platform developers and hackers alike quickly found ways of getting it to work on the PC platform. Now a year after launch, Microsoft has announced a Kinect for Windows commercial program to be launched in early 2012.

I think the corporate boardroom could become a more interactive experience. Just think what product like Microsoft Lync and PowerPoint could do with a Kinect sensor.

The official press release follows:

Johannesburg, South Africa – 31 October 2011 – One year ago this week, Xbox 360 set out to change the way we interact with games and entertainment with the launch of Kinect for Xbox 360. Controller-free games and entertainment – once the stuff of science fiction – had become a reality through the magic of Kinect.  Sales immediately soared with more than 10 million Kinect sensors sold, setting the Guinness World Record as the fastest-selling consumer electronics device in 60 days along the way.

Kinect opened up Xbox to a broad set of new audiences bringing new categories of entertainment to the platform.  Leading brands such as Disney, Sesame Street and National Geographic were inspired by the simplicity and intuitiveness of Kinect’s gesture control technologies, developing immersive, fun experiences for everyone.   

People were inspired. Six months ago, a diverse group of hobbyists and academics from around the world embraced the possibilities of Kinect. In a wave of creativity, they downloaded the Microsoft Kinect for Windows SDK and began developing creative applications and innovative uses in healthcare, education, art and so much more.  Microsoft has recognized this phenomenon as “The Kinect Effect.”

Marking the 4th of November anniversary of Kinect, (South Africa launched Kinect on 10 November 2010), Xbox 360 today announced that the Kinect for Windows commercial program will be launched early next year. The commercial program will give businesses the tools to develop applications that not only could improve their own operations, but potentially revolutionize entire industries. To date, more than 200 businesses worldwide—including Toyota, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Razorfish— have joined a Kinect for Windows pilot program to begin exploring the possibilities of Kinect. While no one knows what the future holds, if the past year is any indication, it’s going to be inspiring.

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