The few bits of genuine news in Microsoft’s CES keynote on Monday all concerned Kinect, the company’s natural user interface sensor. CEO Steve Ballmer announced that 18 million devices had been sold since launch, either as standalone units or bundled with Xbox 360. A smattering of Xbox content deals with Fox and others, using Kinect as a selling point.
And finally, Kinect for Windows: a brand-new software development kit, developer program and PC-optimized hardware device launching February 1, designed to decisively push Kinect beyond gaming and media, precisely when companies like Samsung are charging behind the Xbox with gesture recognition for TV sets.
Shining a light on Kinect and pairing it with Windows shows that even with PC sales slumping, Microsoft’s future is bigger than the PC, at least as it’s been narrowly construed. It also shows that Microsoft is working towards integration of its far-flung products at a level higher than a common set of orthogonal Metro tiles. And with Kinect and Windows Phone 7 drawing raves, Microsoft’s on the verge of regaining a reputation for innovation, not just domination.
But make no mistake: this was almost entirely an accident. The push to bring the Kinect to the PC and create a developer community for the device came almost entirely outside and in spite of Microsoft. And by wrapping its arms around Kinect development, Microsoft isn’t simply embracing it or even asserting its ownership; it’s also breaking that development community into pieces.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.