When Microsoft launched the Kinect as an addition for the Xbox 360, few would have predicted how successful the vocal recognition and motion tracking camera would be, not just for gaming, but beyond it as well. With the blessing of Microsoft, developers, researchers and companies have used the Kinect for a wide variety of purposes.
SMB use of Kinect
Microsoft has been proactive in supporting Kinect development by third parties, including fluxLoop, a Norwegian start-up which use Kinect in conjunction with Azure to develop more effective advertising.
The fluxBox allows viewers to interact with advertisements using body gestures, as well as with mobile devices. However, it also captures data about that engagement, tracking how long they interact with the advert, as well as estimating their age and gender - permitting for dynamic content updates - all enabled by hosting the data in Azure.
Products like this would be unheard of a decade ago, and without Kinect, would be prohibitively expensive for most SMBs. Whilst enterprise scale companies have had the resources to build projects such as this, the Kinect provides the same tools at a fraction of the cost, and with a developers community built around it, Kinect continues to be a product enabling innovative content. However, both financial support from Microsoft and product support for the Kinect enables start-ups to build technically creative products and services.