One year ago this week, Xbox 360 set out to change the way we interact with games and entertainment with the launch of Kinect for Xbox 360.
Controller-free games and entertainment – once the stuff of science fiction – had become a reality through the magic of Kinect. Sales immediately soared with more than 10 million Kinect sensors sold, setting the Guinness World Record as the fastest-selling consumer electronics device in 60 days along the way. Kinect opened up Xbox to a broad set of new audiences bringing new categories of entertainment to the platform. Leading brands such as Disney, Sesame Street and National Geographic were inspired by the simplicity and intuitiveness of Kinect’s voice and gesture control technologies, developing immersive, fun experiences for everyone. Nearly 40 entertainment providers, Comcast, Verizon FiOS and HBO GO will join current providers like Netflix, Hulu Plus and ESPN on Xbox 360 this holiday season and beyond, to deliver TV entertainment experiences that are more personal, effortless and social.
People were inspired. Six months ago, a diverse group of hobbyists and academics from around the world embraced the possibilities of Kinect. In a wave of creativity, they downloaded the Microsoft Kinect for Windows SDK and began developing creative applications and innovative uses in healthcare, education, art and so much more. Microsoft has recognized this phenomenon as “The Kinect Effect.”
Marking the November 4th anniversary of Kinect, Xbox 360 announced that the Kinect for Windows commercial program will be launched early next year. The commercial program will give businesses the tools to develop applications that not only could improve their own operations, but potentially revolutionize entire industries. To date, more than 200 businesses worldwide—including Toyota, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Razorfish— have joined a Kinect for Windows pilot program to begin exploring the possibilities of Kinect. While no one knows what the future holds, if the past year is any indication, it’s going to be inspiring.
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