The Surface and many of its OEM competitors have landed…
At least the Windows RT version has.
Putting aside criticisms of price point or App availability for Windows RT (early days, give it a chance) Microsoft missed an enormous opportunity for convergence of two technologies to launch a tablet unlike any other out there in the so-called Tablet Wars.
Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows should be built into laptop, monitor, tablet and yes Smartphone devices as an organic component of the device in much the way the humble webcam has.
Image from the Microsoft Kinect for Windows Page (see link above)
Kinect for PC is launching in several countries around the world with a similar form factor to Xbox Kinect and an SDK just waiting for the bold App Developers out there who see Kinect as the next iteration in MMI.
I can hear someone saying, “Wouldn’t this devalue touch functionality in Windows 8 etc?” and my answer is a definitive No.
Being the only kid on the IT block with built in touch-less touch control as an alternative to mice, keyboards, a stylus or greasy kiddy fingerprints all over your touch screen is the least of it and having these devices come with the SDK pre-installed (hopefully with a user friendly macro recorder) to allow consumers to devise their own touch-less solutions would blow the competition out of the water and force not just Windows OEMs but Android and iOS to play catch-up to compete.
The Microsoft Open Source project site Codeplex references a Coding for Fun Project, the Kinect Service for remote connection to a Kinect. This theoretically would allow remote access from Android or iOS devices even though the project mentions Windows Phone. Still just Bing / Google “Kinect for iOS” or “Kinect for Android” for a peek:
In a nutshell Surface + Kinect / Laptop + Kinect / Windows Phone + Kinect is a gamechanger and if the rumors of Microsoft working on their own phone are correct, here’s hoping they have either thought of this or read my blog.
Would this kind of embedded hardware and feature make you change to a Surface or Windows Phone?