If you thought Microsoft was largely irrelevant when it comes to innovation, think again. Their Kinect has more than erased the small blip that was the Kin, and this new technology could may very well become one of the most significant breeding grounds for innovation in the next couple years.
It’s a huge claim I know, but the potential here extends far beyond virtual world characters that move when you do. The Kinect has become the central figure in a global community where suddenly, people have the opportunity to create things that would have previously cost thousands of dollars.
If you haven’t seen what I mean by this, check out KinectHacks.net. Drop everything, stop reading, be late, all I care is that you see the phenomenon that is creating gesture controlled TVs and different means for controlling robots, fighting with your shadow, and much more.
Instead of stifling this so called “hack,” Microsoft has welcomed the movement. This is smart, and if I had my take I would say that this is the kind of innovation that will make 3D powerful. Imagine 3D modeling and how this could affect the future of architecture for instance? You could literally stand in a virtual world and modify the height and width of buildings with the quick swipe of a hand.
Or what about a sort of reversal Kinect effect where the environment in the realm of the sensor detects objects in relation to humans and objects in a space. People who are blind could be given sound signals about proximity, allowing them to navigate more freely through unfamiliar areas. Really, the possibilities here are endless.
The power here is immense and I can hardly wait to see what the Kinect-ers bring to the mainstream.