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Netbooks With Built-In Kinect Already on the Way?

The Daily claims to have seen two Windows 8 netbook prototypes with a Kinect sensor mounted in the chassis, built by Asus and sanctioned by Microsoft. Given that the Redmond company officially announced Kinect for Windows earlier this month during CES 2012, the news shouldn't be a surprise. But so far both companies have yet to announce anything backing up the report.

According to The Daily, the prototype netbooks featured an array of small sensors stretching across the top of the screen where a webcam typically resides. Mounted along the bottom of the screen was what appeared to be a string of LEDs. The report also noted that an unnamed source at Microsoft confirmed that the two prototypes were indeed official. Unfortunately, the rest of the story is mere speculation, providing little else of the actual hardware details.

As reported during CES 2012, Microsoft plans to release the Kinect for Windows SDK to developers on February 1. This means the Kinect drivers and APIs will be available to both commercial software developers and the general public. The company said that it's currently working with more than 200 companies to build applications for Windows that take advantage of Kinect's technology.

"We are building the Kinect for Windows platform in a way that will allow other companies to integrate Kinect into their offerings and we have invested in an approach that allows them to develop in ways that are dependable and scalable," said Craig Eisler, General Manager, Kinect for Windows.

Suddenly a netbook with a built-in Kinect sensor doesn't seem quite so far-fetched after all.

Depending on the price per unit, using a Kinect sensor may be cheaper than installing a touchscreen when building an "interactive" netbook or notebook. Gaming would seem out of the question given the compact nature of the notebook/netbook form factor, but waving through various windows or activating applications via voice would seemingly be ideal. As Microsoft indicated earlier this month, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

"We are excited for the new possibilities that Kinect will enable on the Windows platform, and to see how businesses and developers reimagine their processes and their products, and the many different ways each Kinect could enrich lives and make using technology more natural for everyone," Eisler said.

We can't wait to see how this possible rumor flourishes.

  • azathoth
    This will simply turn into another sales gimmick, raising the price of netbooks.

    As with my Xbox 360 kinect it was fun for the first day, then it got shelved.
    Reply
  • digitalzom-b
    I can see it now... rubbing my eyes and my windows minimizing.
    Reply
  • loomis86
    So instead of actually using the touch screen, you can just point to it instead?
    Reply
  • southernshark
    It should be good. It will advance quickly.
    Reply
  • 2gstyle
    They might actually be able to make touch screen offer the ability to "hover" the pointer which is about he last thing needed to complete replicate the mouse on a touch screen
    Reply
  • classzero
    With the netbook they have to fix the chip problem first. Without addressing the atom I have no interest in a netbook
    Reply
  • gogogadgetliver
    loomis86So instead of actually using the touch screen, you can just point to it instead?
    Point, swipe, zoom gesture, voice control, facial recognition. All that.

    Pointing and clicking may be a gesture or it might be something like 2gstyle mentions where kinect does the motion and the capacitive screen does the "click".

    Everyone I think realizes the metro interface is awesome for capacitive touch displays. It's also perfect for NUI like Kinect.
    Reply
  • yorgos
    According to The Daily, the prototype netbooks featured an array of small sensors stretching across the top of the screen where a webcam typically resides
    this is too much to say for such a simple thing.
    Really that kinect thing is nothing complex, nothing new and not expensive at all.
    You just take more than 2 cameras, make the drivers and there you have a kinect like system.
    This sensors and arrays are nothing more than really cheap low resolution cameras, driven by a program to recognize your face and your hands, just like other webcam programs do (recognize your face you they can focus on it) for many years now.
    It's sad to see companies sell old staff, or old technology as a new product and making money out of it.

    Will this thing be in handy? I believe not, because your mouse is the most accurate thing you can use and I believe that nobody is going to use it in public places. Just imagine someone waving and pointing at his/her laptop, it will be a hilarious scene.
    Reply
  • slabbo
    azathothThis will simply turn into another sales gimmick, raising the price of netbooks.As with my Xbox 360 kinect it was fun for the first day, then it got shelved.
    more like, tried it out one day, found out it was no fun due to input lag from games, then got shelved. maybe newer patches got rid of the input lag, but it is still very bad just navigating the Xbox dashboard menus with it. I can only imagine how bad it is to navigate a complete OS with it. NO THANKS!!!
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    loomis86So instead of actually using the touch screen, you can just point to it instead?touch screen is useless when u eating Ramen/noodles or any food.

    Now with this I can scroll my browser with my oily hand while I am eating snacks!
    Reply