updated 09:45 am EST, Fri January 27, 2012
Kinect notebooks may use motion for Windows 8
Microsoft is not only planning to release Kinect for Windows but is aiming to make motion control a built-in feature for PCs, according to fresh leaks. Those at The Daily claim to have used two prototype Windows 8 notebooks where the Kinect sensor system replaces the normal webcam. A Microsoft insider claimed that the ASUS-branded systems are testbeds with the hint they may become real products.
As with most Microsoft computing experiments, it's unlikely Microsoft itself would develop a system. It would, however, want to test the functionality of the platform itself or to help early manufacturers optimize their systems.
Timing for when integrated Kinect would be demonstrated or released isn't known. It could appear as soon as the public preview version of Windows 8 late in February or with the finished version of the OS late this year.
The addition of Kinect could be Microsoft's way of addressing the desire for a gesture-based interface on notebooks without the problems pointed out by companies like Apple with fatigue and smudges from having to touch an upright screen. Kinect would let users wave through home screens and apps without having to exert as much effort and while possibly supporting complex gestures and motion-specific apps.
Apple's approach to non-traditional input has been to put all its efforts into iOS devices while so far limiting advanced input on Macs to multi-touch trackpad commands.