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Surprising Science

Why the Hype on Kinect?

After its November launch, Kinect became the fastest-selling electronics device ever. It may be integrated into the Windows OS, leading to the Next Big Thing in web user experience.

What’s the Big Idea?

Wired reports on Microsoft’s release this week of an SDK (software development kit) for its motion-controlled gaming system Kinect. After launching in November 2010 on the Xbox, Kinect became the fastest-selling electronics device ever, even beating the iPad in units sold. “Nobody can accurately predict what apps will successfully use Kinect technology, but Microsoft showed a glimpse of the possibilities with a Kinect-controlled armchair. What’s most intriguing though is the probability that Kinect will become integrated into Microsoft’s Windows OS and lead to the Next Big Thing in web user experience,” Wired says.

What’s the Latest Development?

The Kinect SDK opens up the possibility that the next wave of innovation in user experience could come from motion controls. In fact, Wired says gesture controls will likely become as important as mouse controls in Windows. “Indeed, at some point they will probably usurp the mouse. Anyone who’s seen the movie Minority Report can easily visualize that.”


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