Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CES – Kinect for Windows: Five ways to put it to use

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer can get a little wound up about Kinect. (Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Microsoft’s grand plan: Charge developers only for the hardware and give away the software developer kit. It’s all about growing the ecosystem around Kinect. In other words, Kinect is going to be a lot more than fun and games. The company has been sprinkling around hints about what industries will work best for Kinect. Here’s a look at five industries likely to dive head first into Kinect development.
  1. Health care. Microsoft clearly sees Kinect as a hospital and health care staple. On ZDNet Health, Denise Amrich noted how Kinect is helping hospitals practice so-called clean techniques. Amrich, an RN, noted that keeping a sterile environment is critical. Kinect is also likely to have surgical applications too. And Kinect is likely to be useful even at the lower end of the healthcare spectrum. The Wii is used in physical therapy. Chances are the Kinect will be too. (Also see: Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare)
  2. Retail. Kinect also seems like a natural fit for the retail industry. Why? It’s a handy way to try things on virtually, browse kiosks and select products. Microsoft is also likely to pair up Kinect technology with its Surface efforts for retail use.                 More