An announcement at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show this month excited the IT consulting world with its possibilities. Microsoft, maker of the Xbox, announced that the launch of Xbox Kinect for Windows PCs is slated for the beginning of February. Already, several different companies including Toyota, Mattel Toys, and Boeing are writing applications that will make use of Kinect technology once it becomes fully available for the PC interface.
Kinect is a set of sensors that allow for motion control of systems. Formerly, the application of this technology has been largely restricted to the console gaming world, but IT consulting experts see vast possibilities for using it on personal computers in ways that can affect and enhance businesses. Instead of using a mouse to navigate a graphical user interface, for example, workers may be able to use simple finger motions.
IT consultants are largely agreed that it will take years before the revolutionary changes made possible for Kinect for PC will probably be realized, but many IT consulting firms are seeing immediate tie-ins with the telecommunications program Skype (which was recently purchased by Microsoft). Others saw far more wide-ranging possibilities. Wes Miller, who works as a research analyst with the firm Directions on Microsoft, commented, “I don’t think it’s clear exactly which applications or industries will wind up using it most, but I can easily see it being used for reporting, analytics and business intelligence, where you need to drill through and manipulate visual information quickly.”