Microsoft working on Kinect support inside laptops?

Microsoft has already announced plans to expand its Xbox 360 Kinect device add-on to work on Windows-based PCs. The first Kinect for Windows devices are scheduled to go on sale on Wednesday, February 1. Now a new report from The Daily claims that Microsoft is looking to integrate the motion gesture technology inside future version of Windows-based laptops.

The story claims to have seen two prototypes of laptops that contain small Kinect sensors on the top of the laptop's screen. The story says that the prototypes appear to be Asus-based notebooks that are running on a build of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. The article also claims it has received word via an unnamed source at Microsoft that these prototypes are indeed officially sanctioned by the company.

It's not likely that Microsoft will actually be making any Kinect-based notebook themselves. Rather, the company will more likely license the Kinect technology to established notebook makers such as Asus. Having an integrated Kinect sensor system inside a laptop could have many different uses, from navigating the Windows 8 user interface with just a wave of the hand to making Windows 8 games that will be operated via the Kinect sensor.

This new rumor follows a previous story from The Daily that claims Microsoft is working on some kind of Kinect enabled entertainment set-top box for TVs.

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Why the question mark? Microsoft demonstrated this technology in an R&D video long before the Kinect existed, specificaly for laptops...

If they aren't working on it, they have 'stopped' working on a project that started around 2005/2006.

They also are working on Surface screen technology for laptop, that they started back in 2006 too.

There is no reason for a headline with a question mark... Really.

I think it it retarded unless it is built in to the laptop then use a built in cam. Most laptops have 3 usb ports so to haul around a device seem dumb to me.

For this to work I would think Microsoft and makers of laptop would have to have it intergrated in to the laptop.

Randall_Lind said,
I think it it retarded unless it is built in to the laptop then use a built in cam. Most laptops have 3 usb ports so to haul around a device seem dumb to me.

For this to work I would think Microsoft and makers of laptop would have to have it intergrated in to the laptop.


It will probably be built in.

Randall_Lind said,
I think it it retarded unless it is built in to the laptop then use a built in cam. Most laptops have 3 usb ports so to haul around a device seem dumb to me.

For this to work I would think Microsoft and makers of laptop would have to have it intergrated in to the laptop.

Absolutely; I think....... and hope that both OEM and MS are very well aware of this.

Randall_Lind said,
I think it it retarded unless it is built in to the laptop then use a built in cam. Most laptops have 3 usb ports so to haul around a device seem dumb to me.

For this to work I would think Microsoft and makers of laptop would have to have it intergrated in to the laptop.


That's the whole point of the article. If it wasn't built in to the laptop, it wouldn't be laptop specific, would it.

Randall_Lind said,
I think it it retarded unless it is built in to the laptop then use a built in cam. Most laptops have 3 usb ports so to haul around a device seem dumb to me.

For this to work I would think Microsoft and makers of laptop would have to have it intergrated in to the laptop.

Why assume it 'has' to be an external device? Webcams in laptop were not the 'normal' not so long ago, and most sold had Laptop Clips for the top of the screen. Now they are the 'norma' and most laptops have them.

Additionally, based on the imager already provided in laptops, there is a chance that the imaging and depth calcuations of the kinect on a simple basis can already be done with the existing 1.3mp cameras in Laptops.

If not, expect a tiny clip to the top of the laptop device (especially if OEMs don't want to adopt it early enough, as Microsoft will produce one to get the competion/market started). *This is why there is the Microsoft HD web Cams, as they had a hell of a time getting laptop MFRs to put in higher quality and HD quality cameras in laptops, which Messenger has supported for a long long time. Just this last year HD quality web cams are finally becoming 'common' in laptops instead of the standard VGA or 1.3mp cameras.

As the world moves forward, it will be a stardard feature in a laptop.. (There was atime when a mouse/touchpad/etc device was NOT common in a laptop, so think about that for a second.)

The voice recognition would work really well for consumers but gestures would only really work in special cases (such as when you're cooking you could turn a page by gesturing to the side). Also, the depth sensor could be useful for logging in and out of the computer and maybe some stuff with skype (auto focusing)

I see the biggest use for gesture based computing would be for the healthcare industry. If you're not touching a keyboard or a screen you aren't going to be spreading germs. So a combination of voice and gestures would be amazing in that industry.

pack34 said,
The voice recognition would work really well for consumers but gestures would only really work in special cases (such as when you're cooking you could turn a page by gesturing to the side). Also, the depth sensor could be useful for logging in and out of the computer and maybe some stuff with skype (auto focusing)

I see the biggest use for gesture based computing would be for the healthcare industry. If you're not touching a keyboard or a screen you aren't going to be spreading germs. So a combination of voice and gestures would be amazing in that industry.

Which is why TabletPC are used in the healthcare industry. Even Pen Windows 3.x major clients were hospitals back in the early 90s, as our company produced software for hospitals around the world.

TabletPCs are used today, as the Stylus is 'personal' an can be dipped in alcohol, and TabletPC inherently supports voice interaction and notation for patent records.

Sadly most people don't see the larger medical facilities that can afford these technologies, as the TabletPC digitizer class screens were not cheap like a simple low resolution touch device like an iPad uses.

There are TabletPCs used in hospitals all over the world still, Vista and Windows 7 boosted the market for them, but not on the scale or visibility of the iPad that direct consumers use, thus most people don't even know they exist or realize how much they are used.

You are on track with the needs of medical facilities and the rugged and germ free requirements, but this has been around for quite a while. (Even a generation of WinCE tablets were used in Hospitals around 2000-2003 until the TabletPC was released to help fit these types of markets.

no need for a touchscreen if you can just move your hand around in the air to control your screen. looking forward to this.

And in other news, the sun rises and sets on a daily basis.
I said this months ago.

Just because I didn't have tangible proof back then doesn't mean I don't have a finger on the pulse at Redmond.

dotf said,

WIll we all be surprised when Samsung announce their PixelSense technology beyond the SUR40, to say perhaps, phones?

I do hope that the PixelSense tech makes it onto larger tables. It looks like a very good way to handle documents.

dotf said,

WIll we all be surprised when Samsung announce their PixelSense technology beyond the SUR40, to say perhaps, phones?


I would as PixelSense is owned by Microsoft…

FunkyMike said,

I do hope that the PixelSense tech makes it onto larger tables. It looks like a very good way to handle documents.

They are working on 'cheap' versions for mobile devices, have been for almost 10 years, but the price point has been too high for consumers, more expensive than the digitizer quality touch/stylus screens that kept the TabletPC from being a larger success.

Now that the world is OK with finger painting and low quality screen technology because of the iPad success, a lower end version of the technology should be on the horizon.

As for 'larger' displays, this is not hard, but they are big, as they use reverse projection DLP and a camera array for seeing the screen. In theory, using today's DLP projectors, a home hobbist could make a 50' (foot) touch screen.

Back in the late 90s Microsoft's work with 'large' displays led to new UI constructs as users would not want to drag an icon across a 20 foot wall, etc. They created 'throw' and other gestures for these screens.

The work with 'imaging' screens goes back to the mid 90s, when projectors were coming down in price (around $5000) at the time, and using a smart 'whiteboard' that the projector used as a screen. Then using touch, and annotation styluses the presenters would have full 'chalkboard' type interaction with the content.

I had a device like this when lecturing back around 1998, using an off the shelf Sharp Project (640x480 $6000) and a large smart white board.

Microsoft is working on a LOT of things, which is werid that people are presenting this information in a question, when it should be more about the progress of the technology and what are the technical reasons or the price point reasons it s not introduced by OEMs n consumer products yet.

FunkyMike said,
And there goes Paul Thurrott's assumption the Kinect wouldn't work on laptops.

That was based on his idea that Kinect doesn't work at all…

FunkyMike said,
And there goes Paul Thurrott's assumption the Kinect wouldn't work on laptops.

Nice guy, good intentions, actual technology understanding - not so much.

Just reading his books is painful when he describes the hardest way to accomplish something, when he could actually teach users to think for themselves and get to features in 10 fewer steps.

I thought laptops and PC's are dead technology and that tablets and smart phones with touch screen interface is the future...

Crisps said,
I thought laptops and PC's are dead technology and that tablets and smart phones with touch screen interface is the future...

That's BS even to this day, the laptop market isn't dieing out like everyone seems to want to think, netbooks yes, but they where a fad, as long as you can't do everything you can do on a full blown OS there will be a market for desktops and laptops

Crisps said,
I thought laptops and PC's are dead technology and that tablets and smart phones with touch screen interface is the future...

I'd take a laptop anyday. It offers me a no-compromise mobile solution compared with a vendor locked, watered down tablet.

Crisps said,
I thought laptops and PC's are dead technology and that tablets and smart phones with touch screen interface is the future...

I have a Tablet, by MS definition of a Tablet, since 2002 and yes it replaced my laptop......... because it does everything my laptop did plus more...............

iPad and clones are kind of "Media/Social" devices therefore I do not think they could serve as a replacement for a laptop.

Just different categories of devices.........................

neufuse said,

That's BS even to this day, the laptop market isn't dieing out like everyone seems to want to think, netbooks yes, but they where a fad, as long as you can't do everything you can do on a full blown OS there will be a market for desktops and laptops

I think Crips was being sarcastic

The net-books will be eventually fold-over laptops of some variety, so it will end up mostly the same thing. As for Kinect, why? That would be an "mostly" overpriced version of voice and face recognition, even know if you move a Kinect around, you must calibrate again. I can just see people yelling at their laptops now!