When Your Desktop Is Watching You
Microsoft's Kinect has been a massive hit with Xbox gamers, tracking their movements and translating them into game play. Unofficially, since its launch, coders have been hooking it up to PCs and doing all kinds of cool stuff with it.
All of that has just become official as Microsoft announced the SDK for Windows 7, allowing developers to patch in the various cameras, microphone and sensors to applications for all kinds of new tricks. You can check out coverage of the launch event here. What sort of tricks? Well, controlling robots, being watchdog and many others. But, for web marketers, the Holy Grail has always been to see what users look at when we browse the net.
Kinect, staring at you from a PC soon
Taking Control of the Web
You can have that kind of monitoring in a research lab, with willing subjects, but it's a lot harder to get the general public involved. Imagine a browser patched into Kinect that looks at where your eyes are focused, calculates the angles and figures out exactly what parts of the page you look at most on a site.
Then, it might monitor your mood, are those frown lines on the face, are you annoyed or confused? A smart future browser could pop up an agent to help you out or offer assistance. Happy-looking users could be rewarded pop-up offers that they are more likely to take, over grumpy users who could see sites dynamically altered to try and improve their mood.
To benefit the user, sites and applications could become motion activated, with users enacting scenes resembling those from minority report -- ideal for PowerPoint presentations or interactive meetings on digital whiteboards, the possibilities are massive.
The Kinect for Windows SDK comes with drivers, rich APIs for Raw Sensor Streams, natural user interfaces, installer documents and resource materials. The SDK provides Kinect capabilities to developers building applications with C++, C# or Visual Basic using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.