Microsoft held the MIX conference this week and the hottest topic was body language. Yesterday Microsoft said that a new tool kit is coming for developers to build motion sensor applications to run on Windows and Kinect. Everyone who attended the conference got a free Kinect motion sensor.
Kinect has been a landmark success story for Microsoft, selling over 10 million units since it launched several months ago. Microsoft see the device as a first step forward to a future of computing that will surpass the use of the traditional mouse, touch screen and keyboard.
1,000 developers showed up at the MIX conference, mainly to learn about web development for Internet Explorer 9, Silverlight and Windows Phone 7. The motion sensing software that Microsoft highlighted for Windows and Kinect stole the show.
Plenty of demonstrations were on hand, including a very cool showcase called ‘universe at your fingertips’, which showed a Microsoft employee moving through space and time. The interface was using images captured by the worldwide telescope project. As the Microsoft employee was moving his arms and hands, he was zooming from planet to planet, then he closed in on a visualisation of a future solar eclipse on the surface of the Earth.
Another employee came out on stage on a recliner which was steered by waving his hands in front of a Kinect sensor connected to a Windows PC on his lap.
Tohru Katori, president and founder of Tokyo based developer Azest told Seattle news that he thought the platform ‘was very impressive’. He came to the event to learn the latest on the Windows Phone 7, and web development and left feel that his company could adopt the motion sensor technology in five years for business applications. His company Azest have already been researching the use of Nintendo Wii technology.
The developer tool kit for Kinect and Windows will be available shortly. Microsoft have also started working on basic motion sensing technology for Windows Phone 7, the company said yesterday.