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Can Kinect Make Windows Cool Again?

posted onMarch 9, 2012
by l33tdawg

Tom Smith, chief marketing manager for Nissan North America, planned to unveil the redesigned Pathfinder at the Chicago Auto Show in February. His problem: Although much of the allure of the new Pathfinder is in its upgraded interior, Smith didn’t have the whole car to show off, just a fiberglass shell.

So he turned to Microsoft Kinect, a motion- and voice-sensing device originally meant as an add-on for the Xbox gaming console. In February, Microsoft (MSFT) released a version that works with Windows PCs, as well as tools to help developers create apps for it. Nissan used the $250 device to create a virtual tour of the Pathfinder. Car fans step in front of a Kinect, which tracks their head movements using sensors that gauge distance and recognize objects. A large screen nearby displays what they would see if they were sitting in the car. Look up, and there are the dual moon roofs; look down to check out the legroom. It “truly is a game-changer,” says Smith, adding that Nissan plans to use the demos at its dealerships ahead of the car’s fall arrival.

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Microsoft Kinect Technology Windows

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