The next generation video gaming experience console is backed by a half billion dollar ad campaign and packs in technology ripped from the fantasy world of minority report; it is also already sitting in more than 40 million living rooms. It’s not a new version of Microsoft’s Xbox but the five year old Xbox 360 paired with all new cameras the Redmond giant has dubbed Kinect.
Kinect eliminates the need for players to hold video gaming experience controllers using a cultivated camera system that detects players’ movements also their voices. You are the controller ads boast. With this Kinect technology players can dance, run or shadow box in front of their console seeing their motions recreated on screen, they can drive race cars by miming a steering wheel or work our with a virtual trainer, they can virtually pet tiger cubs and leopards and panthers.
The motion sensing device lets players control their TV screens with swipes of the hand and voice commands, bringing fantastical kinetic of Steven Spielberg’s minority report closer to reality.
Kinect makes the Xbox 360 a cool competitor to other devices fighting control of your TV, called Google TV and Apple TV from Microsoft’s biggest rivals, people who make Windows want to block people who make ipods and search engines form gaining a foothold near your TV by dazzling you with a new way to interact with.
Microsoft’s also hopes to capture a new audience following in the footsteps of the current market leader, Nintendo whose Wii console has sold more than 74 million units. The $ 150 add on which includes off the shelf tech with the efforts of an army of Microsoft software engineers launches in North America next week globally by the end of November. Microsoft has already begun promoting the device with the help of Oprah, Disney, Ellen and Nickelodeon, estimates put Kinect ad budget at more than $ 500 million dollars expect nothing less than total saturation by Christmas. Kinect comes in the form of a squat, glossy black rectangular camera that sits in front of television, plug it into a port on the Xbox 360, its designed to work any kind of model of the gaming experience console and Kinect starts to see. Its set of eyes scans a room and detects the shape of players, and tracks the movement of their arms, legs and head an array of microphone, kinect’s ears listen for instructions, players can speak out orders to pay movies, you can pause and play gaming experiences or you can make video calls with friends who are also Kinect owners.
If Kinect finds success on the Xbox, Microsoft can bring the tech to personal computers and other electronic devices all but eliminating the physical remote control.
If Kinect lives up to its promise, you will still be impushed by the computers of the future that can only do this.