It watches you and takes pictures as you jump, dance and break into awkward poses. It is, of course, the Kinect for Microsoft’s video game console, the Xbox 360.
The console’s motion-tracking camera may soon make its way to computers sometime in 2012. As of June 2011, Microsoft released a software developer kit that allows any willing person to think up, design and develop programs for their motion sensor camera, the Kinect.
Since then, developers have been busy pushing the Kinect to lead to some creative uses. Its capabilities with motion recognition led to a new user interface for the gaming console that allows hand gestures, free of a controller, to navigate their systems.
The success of the camera unit led developers to bring the concept of using one’s hands and body as a controller over to laptops and notebooks, meaning that future Windows-based computers can potentially come with Kinect-based motion tracking, a step up from the common front-facing camera most laptops and notebooks have.
The gaming camera will do more than just take pictures. While those playing do embarrassing things at the sake of playing the game, the cameras will now have actual productive uses.
In use with the Windows 8 beta that is to be released this year, the same hand motion and gestures allows for a new computing experience, which have only been in science fiction movies.
A computer, together with the Kinect, would allow users to navigate their desktop free from their touchpads or mice.
With the new look and style of Windows 8, hand gestures and motion tracking will not only hold its own with hands-free computer gaming, but have the potential to make running a program as easy as the swipe of a hand.
Once the product is released, having the software on computers will give developers the opportunity to come up with more unique uses for the Kinect.
According to Business Insider, a Windows 8 consumer preview is said to be released Feb. 29, 2012, with Kinect based products already available for developers.