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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Your Next Laptop Might Have a Kinect Inside

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The thinking heads at Redmond envision laptop users shaking their rumps and gyrating in front of their notebooks in the not-too-distant future. Imagine being able to raise your hand and manipulate tiles in Windows 8 or moving around documents (insert inevitable comparison to Minority Report). That's the path we're on as Microsoft flirts with the idea of integrating Kinect motion sensors into laptops.
Actually, it's more than just an idea. According to The Daily, prototypes already exist. TD actually got to play with one recently.
"The devices, which at first glance appear to be Asus netbooks running Windows 8, feature an array of small sensors stretching over the top of the screen where the webcam would normally be," TD explains. "At the bottom of the display is a set of what appear to be LEDs."
TD says a source at Microsoft confirmed that the devices it played with are official prototypes. The question is, what practical use is a Kinect-enabled laptop? That will be up to developers to decide. Gaming is an obvious application of motion control, but might be of limited appeal on a laptop or netbook. According to TD, Microsoft probably isn't going to develop its own laptops and will instead license the technology to hardware manufacturers, so they will be the ones who ultimately decide what to do with the technology.


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