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Kinect for Windows: Can a video game toy become the future of PCs?

Microsoft's Kinect for Windows will add motion controls to laptops and desktops.

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Kinect, a motion-sensing peripheral for the Microsoft Xbox 360, will now (officially) work on Windows.

Microsoft

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Microsoft this week launched the Kinect for Windows commercial program, bringing the Xbox 360 motion-sensing peripheral’s hardware and software to the PC platform. The company hopes businesses around the globe will take advantage of the Kinect to improve internal operations, build new customer experiences, and potentially revolutionize their respective industries.

“It’s been just over a year since we launched Kinect for Xbox 360, and we’re only starting to scratch the surface of what’s possible with Kinect,” said Craig Eisler, general manager for Kinect for Windows. “By offering hardware and software that’s designed specifically for Windows applications, we hope to inspire visionaries around the world to create transformative breakthroughs with Kinect—taking its gesture and voice capabilities beyond the living room into other industries such as education, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail.”

Microsoft says 300 companies from 25 countries such as United Health Group, American Express, Mattel, Telefonica, and Toyota are already developing applications through the Kinect for Windows early adoption program. To encourage smaller businesses to use the hardware, Microsoft and startup seed funding program TechStars are running a Kinect Accelerator program, which offers entrepreneurs, engineers, and innovators the opportunity to develop applications with the Kinect as part of a 3-month intensive competition.

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