Microsofts Kinect has certainly been popular among consumers and hackers a like. Before Microsoft announced an official Kinect SDK, hackers had already managed to get the Kinect sensor running with Windows 7. Microsoft are now also set to release a desktop version of Kinect which will go on sale from February 1st. This sensor is slightly smaller and more accurate with close range objects.
But what if you could buy a laptop with a Kinect sensor built directly into it?
Well according to the Daily, Microsoft are looking to do just that. It’s been said that Microsoft are currently testing out the Kinect technology on Asus netbooks. They appear to be running Windows 8, probably the developer preview. They have a small array of sensors covering the top of the screen where the webcam is normally found and at the bottom of the display there seems to be a set of LEDs.
The Daily is also reporting that a source at Microsoft has also confirmed that these are in fact prototype devices that Microsoft are testing out.
It would be very interesting to see what you could do with a laptop, netbook or even tablet which had Kinect sensors built into it. Not only would it make navigating through Windows a completely new experience, but it would also interact quite well with the new Metro UI in Windows 8 I reckon. Of course since Kinect is primarily used for gaming, I’m sure that it would add to the gaming experience on these devices as well.
It will be interesting to see if Microsoft announce further details on this. Since they are just about the release the desktop edition of Kinect as an accessory, they probably don’t want to hurt it’s initial sales.
The chances that we’ll get to see Kinect sensors in Windows 7 powered laptops is probably pretty slim since Windows 8 is on its way, but you never know!