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Kinect sensors being tested for use in laptops [Update: Microsoft responds]

Jordan Mallory

As far as we're able to tell, Microsoft envisions a future where powerful businessmen and hipster ultrabloggers (like ourselves) flail wildly in front of our laptops while on crowded public transportation. Yes, the Kinect's array of cameras and sensors is being tested on various prototype Windows 8 laptops, according to a preview by The Daily.

On the laptops seen, the Kinect's cameras were placed above the screen, where you would normally expect a small webcam to exist; rows of what appeared to be LEDs lined the bottom of the screen. Beyond gaming applications, Kinect sensors integrated into a laptop could be used to navigate Windows 8's Metro UI, in a fashion not entirely dissimilar to navigating the Metro-esque interface on the latest Xbox dashboard. Additionally, a Kinect-equipped device could also be used for something actually useful by providing the disabled with another means of interacting with a computer.

Just like it does with its software, Microsoft be will licensing the Kinect technology out to hardware manufacturers, who will then implement it into their laptop designs. Considering the Kinect's rather expansive deadzone, we're interested in seeing how the technology functions in such an up close and personal application.

Update: We've received an interesting statement from Microsoft after inquiring about seeing the prototypes ourselves: "Kinect has changed the way we think about the future of games, entertainment, education and business. We're always thinking about what is next and how we can push the boundaries of our technologies to transform how consumers interact with our products and experiences. Beyond that we don't comment on rumors or speculation." Interesting indeed.

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