Microsoft's Kinect for Windows sensor and software has been used for a variety of applications and earlier this year it released a new update to its SDK giving developers more tools and features to play with. Today, Microsoft showed how Kinect for Windows could be used in three different retail store settings to help shoppers purchase products.
In a post on the Kinect for Windows blog, Microsoft said it has conducted research "with dozens of retailers and big brands" to find out what they would do with the hardware and software in their stores. The results of that research lead to the three videos below that show simulations on how Kinect for Windows will work for shoppers and retailers.
In the first video, a person at a ski shop stops by the Kinect enabled screen and interacts with it with hand movements to check out deals at a ski resort. There's even a mini-game where the person can throw virtual snowballs at a snowman to get a promo code for the resort sent to their smartphone.
The second clip shows a woman shopping for clothes in a store and encounters the Kinect display. She views clothing selections in the display as if she is wearing them and can transfer pictures of those outfits to her phone via a QR code.
Finally, the third clip is centered on a toy store where a boy picks up a Hot Wheels car and then scans it with the Kinect hardware. The boy's little brother then selects his own virtual Hot Wheels car and both of them play a quick mini-game on the Kinect screen as they race their cars on a virtual Hot Wheels track. Naturally when this game is done, the boys are directed to purchase the real world toy track they just played, with the promise of a personalized figure with their face thrown in for free.
How close are we to this "Minority Report" shopping future? While the three videos are fictional scenes for now, Microsoft says it has Kinect for Windows retail set ups in place with companies like Bloomingdales, Build-a-Bear, Coca-Cola, Mattel, Nissan, and Pepsi.