One of the companies behind what’s called a key technology inside the XBox Kinect motion-controller says it has struck a deal with PC maker Asus to bring a similar interface to PCs. Matt Rosoff of Business Insider reports this afternoon that the company, PrimeSense, will show off its product called Wavi Xtion at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.
“The companies imagine it being used not for games, but for browsing multimedia content and accessing the Internet and social networks–basically, the main things consumers use their PCs for,” Rosoff writes. “There will also be APIs for third-party developers and a Wavi Xtion store where developers can sell motion-controlled apps.” The devices will reportedly work on all PCs, not just computers from Asus.
It’s a little surprising that Microsoft didn’t get an exclusive license on the PrimeSense technology, but perhaps that would have required an acquisition one of the companies didn’t want to happen and perhaps there’s more to making Kinect what it is than PrimeSense would have us believe. APIs and an App Store sound quite intriguing, if trendy.
The day the Kinect went on sale, we asked leading gaming and wireless analysts about the prospects of it, or something like it, going beyond gaming and into web connected devices around the home. They had varying estimations of the likelihood of that occurring.
James McQuivey, Consumer Product Strategy analyst at Forrester, had written two weeks prior that, “Kinect is to multitouch user interfaces what the mouse was to DOS. It is a transformative change in the user experience, the interposition of a new and dramatically natural way to interact — not just with TV, not just with computers — but with every machine that we will conceive of in the future.” (Get Ready for Kinect to Completely Change Our Lives)
McQuivey grew even more effusive in December, after smashing his hand through a lightbulb while swinging his arms around playing with his Kinect.
“Kinect feels very, very real. When you play it, you have a tendency to lose your sense of space and placement in the real world…
What will we call the new experiential medium that will result from natural user interfaces+3D+touch interfaces+augmented reality — technologies which are all conspiring in this decade to alter our lives? This part game, part narrative, part interactive, part video, potentially collaborative, experience-rich medium could, in 2020, be a $10 billion business. More interesting to me, who will be the Shakespeare, Cervantes, or Kurosawa of this new media? Or should I ask who will be the Bell, Edison, or Jobs of this new technology ecosystem?”
25 days after its launch, the Kinect was outselling what was the world’s fastest-adopted consumer electronics device in history (the iPad) 2 to 1.
A Kinect-type interface for all PCs? That sounds very, very hot – if it can be executed well.
Russoff writes that the system will launch in the second quarter of this year.