Well, the trick, we realized, is to use a microphone.
Our demo was more impressive than our earlier demonstrations, because the Kinect was mounted in a headset that fit over our eyes and the camera was attached to a camera we had mounted to the back of our head. The system took us through a series of motions with the Kinect, ranging from simple movements such as breathing and facial gestures to complex movements that required fine muscle control like swinging an arm to pull a stuffed dinosaur from the top drawer.
Our demo included all of the motion controls in a simple, elegant fashion.
After the demo we invited some of their colleagues and asked them to try the demo. “This demo is crazy, but it’s kind of exciting too,” I was told. The Kinect gave us a feel for how this system would work in practice, but it was still a bit overwhelming for them. One young couple we invited was more than excited about their new device. The young man explained that he has trouble using a computer and his wife is happy for this, even though it was a long process. We all agreed that Kinect for Windows would be well-suited to their needs.
When I was asked specifically about how it would work out in the real world, we were not surprised at all. The Kinect could be set up and used to pick out objects in the world and detect them.
In many ways you can think of the Kinect as being the computer with a voice enabled by a remote.
As the experiment began, I asked the developer the basic question I always do when I come up with any new idea for a product in Redmond: What would make Microsoft’s competitors happy and what would make you sad? What kind of people would benefit from the Kinect?
“We’re not worried about our competitors,” the developer answered. “They’ll see a demo and be like, ‘What in the world?’ or, ‘This really sucks!'” Of course, this doesn’t mean Microsoft’s competitors are totally wrong – they still get a fair amount of the buzz (and there are still some people using Kinect-enabled devices). But they also think they already know what’s wrong with what you’re trying to do.
Microsoft already has their customers who don’t understand the software – Windows 95’s user base was mainly small people and their biggest competitor was Windows 98. Microsoft’s customers who are now using this software understand Microsoft’s vision of how it should be used, but not necessarily the entire process they need
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