Asus and Microsoft working on a Kinect-equipped laptop
It seems a vision of a far-off utopian future or the wildest dreams of science fiction: you sit down with your laptop at a coffee shop, a steaming mug of half double-twist decaf caramel latte beside you. You open the lid of the computer and a green light above the screen comes on, and perhaps you hear the faint sound of a whirling servo. You’ve barely raised the over-priced misshapen hipster mug to your lips when the system displays a welcome message and logs you in without any keyboard input. Setting the mug down, you make am upwards gesture and swirl with one hand. Applications on the desktop open, things happen, it’s a wonderful life.
It’s not that far off, as rumor would have it. There have been prototypes seen of Windows 8 laptops made by Asus that had a built-in Kinect sensor along the top of the screen. You could do all that was described above and more with such bundled technology. Let’s run through some of the more practical applications, shall we?
First and foremost, it opens up a world of usability and functionality for the disabled to use their devices. Motion control would be a huge boost where typing on a keyboard or manipulating a tiny trackpad could be an insurmountable task. Voice activation using Kinect would be a huge boon as well, as for any who’ve used Microsoft’s Xbox with Kinect know, it’s pretty decent and getting better all of the time.
From a security perspective, visual recognition could add an extra layer of protection by using gestures for unlocking a workstation, or perhaps a combination of facial recognition with a passphrase or gesture. If your computer recognizes you as soon as you sit in front of it, imitating you or your mannerisms will become doubly difficult, ratcheting up useful security methods exponentially.
Gaming will take a whole new turn into awesomeness with immersive experiences that are now popular on the Xbox with Kinect. While you probably shouldn’t expect to play full-court tennis or wield a lightsaber standing in front of your laptop, a world of options exist for gesture-based controls.
Microsoft Kinect has been in the news a lot these past weeks, from their official announcement of Kinect for Windows to people noting Microsoft Surface and Kinect appear to be on a collision course. It’s obvious that the plan is to push Kinect from just existing in the living room to being everywhere.
What could come after laptops with Kinect technology built-in? Maybe an entire house wired to a Kinect-like device is a possibility in our lifetime? It could be. Until that time, though, we’ll be able to feed ourselves with the news that our laptops may get a whole lot more useful soon.
Read more at The Daily
Source: Extreme Tech