Microsoft may be having some problems right now with Windows 7 Phone software, but in the land of gaming they are reaping the rewards, selling over 8 million Kinect units in 60 days.
Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer says that the Kinect way of working offers a taste of how we will interact with computers. He says it is a ‘natural user interface’ that along with voice commands will redefine the future of computers. Mundie also suggests that computers will be willing to complete mundane tasks for humans who find them boring.
In this case Microsoft may have a point, the sales figures of Kinect have surpassed all expectations and a wide audience have been embracing the new technology, with a hard core modding community finding weird and wonderful uses for the device, outside the confines of the Xbox 360 platform. With Microsoft supporting the Windows community now, we can only see more creative ways for this device to be used in the coming months.
Not all the uses will have to be productive either as we can see from the excellent light sabre hack above.
Mundie says that it is his job to look 3 to 20 years ahead from today and that Bill Gates always had a long term view, even when he founded the company many decades ago.
It helps us weather the storms,” says Mundie, “and from time to time we inject new capabilities that take the products forward by a significant leap. Sometimes one of those leaps is so new and significant that it is disruptive and opens up a new market. Kinect would be a good example of that”.
He says that touch, voice and gesture should be a new means to control a computer. “For a long time, the computer has been used as a tool. We have been trying to work out how to make it more like a helper, so that it acts with a degree of autonomy, understands you, and starts to become intuitive.”
KitGuru says: Microsoft certainly seem on the right track with this, and with such an active modding community already creating weird and wacky new concepts it will surely only improve over the coming year.