Crestron and Kinect Start Thinking Outside of the X-Box

Just when you thought gamers were the only ones who got to use the really cool stuff, Crestron comes along with an idea to integrate their remote control technology with the Microsoft Kinect visual activation used in the Xbox 360. And apparently Crestron has been testing a new technology by Microsoft that allows the gesture/motion activation Kinect technology to be supported on any Windows-based system–not solely on Xbox. (And thanks to member Dan B. for sending this my way!)

All you game peeps already know what Kinect can do, right? Not only does it recognize your game avatar with a wave of your hand, you can access the console without a controller by just jumping around in front of the sensor – or you can utilize voice activated commands to switch between your choice of games or movies.  And I thought that remote controls turned people into couch potatoes! Now all you have to do is tell your TV what to do…

So why is Crestron’s innovation exciting for the rest of the non-gaming world?  Think about giving a presentation and being able to move through a slide presentation or control lighting with a wave of your hand (like in the video below). Or how about changing your TV channel with a flick of your wrist–no remote required! That resolves the issue of losing the remote control in the couch pillows, eh? I am a bit concerned how this might work for people who tend to “talk with their hands” – but I think I could get used to it.

Take a look at the video of Jeff Singer (Crestron’s Director of Global Marketing Campaigns – does that title even fit on a business card?)  at Integrated Systems Europe 2012 in Amsterdam, showing how this technology works.

Crestron has always given us fantastic remote control options, and I think the possibilities of combining these controls is truly exciting. Kinect for Windows is specifically geared towards business applications (right now they are focusing on education, healthcare and retail markets). Check out the details here to find out where Microsoft wants to incorporate this innvovative new control feature.

Although I do think this is going to be tricky for the folks who tend to get all active while watching TV – if you’re the type who likes to–ahem–”gesture” at the players on the field or yell out ideas for the next play, you may want to switch back to hand-held controls to avoid turning the channel at a crucial moment.

What do you think about the Kinect coming out of the X-box? Where else would you apply this technology around your home or office? The possibilities are endless…

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