During the keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, announced that Kinect hardware and software is being launched to developers for Windows 7 and the future Windows 8 starting February 1, 2012. For those of you who don’t know, Kinect was launched a little over a year ago on the Xbox360. It is a hardware peripheral that allows you to control certain games through face recognition, body movements, hand gestures and voice commands. While it is still in the early stages within the consumer market, it has made the console platform more approachable to the mass consumer market. In fact, I bought one for my parents this past Christmas.
So what does this mean? Well, the short answer is it will only be limited by imagination (watch the YouTube video above to see what Microsoft thinks is possible with the Kinect). The Kinect package, priced at $250, makes research and development on a sophisticated piece of hardware possible for all developers and inventors, some of whom could not afford to work on such projects.
For architectural design, it could mean with this type of hardware integrated into a CAD or 3D rendering program, it may be possible to become one step closer to the virtual walkthroughs architects have longed for. It might also change how we design on the computer…imagine being able to design with your hands and body, beyond the limitations of a mouse and keyboard. Oh the possibilities! Finally, I may be able to work on my computer the same cool way Tom Cruise does in the Mission Impossible movies!
What started as new way to interact with games has evolved into a new way, potentially, to interact with everything.
To read more about the announcement and Kinect, click here.
Video courtesy of YouTube: XboxViewTV