Microsoft has revealed that it plans to take its Kinect full body motion sensing technology from the living room to the board room. The company plans to launch a commercial program for the peripheral early next year, which – it hopes – will give businesses the tools they need to create and deploy customized applications for their companies and industries. The pilot program is being used by Toyota, book publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and design firm Razorfish. Over 200 companies in 25 countries have signed up for the program, according David Dennis, Microsoft Product Manager.
"We're putting development resources that understand this tech in the field and helping [these companies] build and fast track [their applications] to market," Dennis told Gamasutra. "Microsoft doesn't want to build, say, an education widget. Our goal is to build an ecosystem and a business platform to let our partners do that."
The commercial program was conceived after Microsoft saw how he development community used the peripheral and the SDK to create non-gaming applications.
"Even before we launched Kinect, the phone was ringing off the hook from people saying 'Holy [cow], how can we get involved?," said Dennis. "We think it has the potential to revolutionize our industry as well."
While the more corporate early-adopters are keeping quiet about what they will use Kinect for, several educational and medical institutions are already using Kinect to help them with the daily work. Several healthcare and educational facilities are already using Kinect games on the 360, according to Gamasutra – including the Lakeside Center for Autism in Washington, the U.K.'s Royal Berkshire Hospital, and France-based Tedesys.