Microsoft has enjoyed a lot of success with its Xbox 360 console and the accompanying Kinect technology, which the company rolled out in November of 2010. In fact, the Kinect holds the world record for being the fastest selling consumer electronics device after the company sold eight million units in the first 60 days after release.
Due to its success, Microsoft has been working on expanding the Kinect. At CES two weeks ago, the Washington-based company announced a Windows desktop version of the Kinect, and new rumors today suggest that Microsoft is also planning on integrating its motion-sensing technology into portable computers as well.
Apparently, The Daily tested two Microsoft prototypes, Asus netbooks running Windows 8 that had an array Kinect sensors built-in where the webcam would normally be located, and a source at Microsoft confirmed that the machines were indeed official Kinect-laptop prototypes.
A Kinect-enabled portable computing device is a good idea, and Microsoft is making a solid move. The Kinect technology has been utilized in so many ways in the Xbox 360, and it will have a myriad of uses in a laptop as well. Games, of course, will incorporate the technology, but it can also be used for other tasks like switching between programs or tweaking media controls with just the wave of a hand.
The first Windows 8 tablets are slated for release later this year, and we’ve long anticipated Microsoft’s entry into the tablet market. Many believe that Windows 8 tablets may be, at long last, that anticipated iPad killer.
Windows 8 tablets don’t seem to be Microsoft’s top priority, however, and that’s smart. It’s sticking to what’s successful and what works. There’s no guarantee that a Windows 8 tablet will succeed, and they may very well fall by the wayside like so many other tablets that have faced Apple’s iPad.
The Kinect, on the other hand, has a lot of potential in many untapped markets. There will be a desktop computer version, a laptop version, and it may even make its way into televisions and set-top boxes. Is it possible we may even see a Kinect-enabled tablet in the future? That may just give Apple a run for its money.