Microsoft sees Kinect embedded in future PCs and phones

Microsoft's success so far with the Kinect motion sensing controller-camera for the Xbox 360 could be expanded into even more hardware. ZDNet reports that during this week's Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, the company's Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie said that he sees a day in the future where both PCs and also mobile phones could have Kinect-based cameras built inside them. His comments can be found in full in a transcript on Microsoft's press site.

The uses of Kinect beyond gaming could include improved types of video conferencing. Mundie states upcoming launch of the Avatar Kinect feature for the Xbox 360 is an example of that kind of feature business could use. He says, " ... what’s interesting about it is that, while it’s just more traditional videoconferencing, the camera tracks you as you move around. So, you’re now sitting some significant distance away from the screen. So,many of the problems that you have with traditional sort of PC-based videoconferencing, where when you’re so close the angular displacement of the camera from where your gaze is gives you that very weird sensation. When you’re far back, that angle becomes just a couple of degrees, and the gaze problem is sort of automatically corrected.”

More still needs to be done for more businesses to accept that kind of video conferences, according to Mundie; that includes making the Kinect avatars look more realistic. He added, "I could dream about a day where anywhere today that you have a camera, which is the back of your cell phone, or the bezel of your laptop, there’s no reason to think that over time that camera shouldn’t be this kind of camera."

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