I’m Still Taken with Kinect

I’m am still dumbfounded by the Kinect platform.  It feels to me what the PC was to the word processor or more relevantly what Mosaic was to the World Wide Web.

I cannot see how this technology does not revolutionize computing.  It has been advertised as the Wii without the remote, however this seems quite short sighed to me as it beginning to look like a whole lot more.  As a Wii without a remote the implication is that it is “simply” enhancing/redefining the user’s interaction with existing software (games).  As amazing as that transformation would be by itself, the growing number of hacks of the technology being posted online show something far more sophisticated than that is now taking place.

I think this technology is truly disruptive in that it is creating entirely new applications which will soon be in search of a home.  And later, as the technology matures, experts will develop skills to create applications using 1st, 2nd or even 3rd order derivatives (hacks) of this real time 3D platform to meet complex problems.  I would imagine we may very soon see incubators and venture capital chasing this platform to build portfolios of IP, applications and products.

And the Kinect marvelously coincides with the television and film industries push into 3D displays.  It seems to me that 3D object recognition may be the precipice of an entirely new decade of technological advancement, and somehow I am not sure anyone else feels this way but me!  This either makes me irrationally exuberant about Kinect, or extremely naive.  And I am willing to accept either.  Since I’m a Mac guy though, this is not an intentional love fest for Microsoft.  The applications outside of gaming seem as endless as imagination itself.  I do wish Apple had owned this one!

Consider this seemingly simple hack below.  With a little vision, this could be come complete object recognition technology of the Star Trek variety. Forget scanning barcodes. Imagine a computer just looking at what you have in your hand and identifying it any any number of associated characteristics. Now imagine cross referencing a found object with a missing one, sorted for instance, by GPS coordinates.

Or imagine a full body scan in the comfort of your own home, with the data sent to your favorite apparel retailer for custom, made to order clothing that you can receive by mail.

My mind is small in comparison to some of the videos I have seen, and other people will certainly trump any pea-brained idea I may come up with.   But in general the possibilities seem truly endless.

Does anyone know how protected this platform is for Microsoft?  Is there room for them to build a monopoly around this technology?



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