This much is official. Sometime next month, Microsoft will be launching the Kinect motion sensing controller for the desktop PC platform. CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer has already confirmed this. However, we now learn that it will also be heading for the portable desktop segment, i.e notebooks, as well. If you’re thinking how am I going to balance the Kinect sensor on the lid of the notebook, you should know it won’t such a crude implementation. Just like how Asus started integrating Nvidia’s 3DVision sensor into the bezel of their notebooks, similarly, the cameras and sensors from the Kinect will be stripped out and integrated into the bezel itself.
This news comes from The Daily , who got a chance to see some of these prototypes, behind closed doors, of course. The device was an Asus notebook (Surprise!) running Windows 8 and featured an array of sensors across the top near the webcam. The bottom of the display apparently had a bunch of LEDs lined up, possibly infrared to illuminate the subject in low lighting conditions. Furthermore, a source at Microsoft did confirm that there were indeed official prototype laptops with a built-in Kinect sensor. While gaming is the most obvious use for the Kinect sensors, we think it’s going to be much more than just gaming. Windows 8 will have a Metro UI like element in it, so imagine simply swiping your hand to navigate the tiles. This could also be used for controlling media and you may be able to talk to your notebook, too, since the Kinect recognizes voice commands. This does seem a lot more useful and practical than embedding 3D in a notebook, which let’s face it, hasn’t really caught on at all.
Now, we’re not sure how big a role Microsoft will actually play in developing these notebooks but we have a feeling they’ll simply be licensing the technology and leave it up to the manufacturers as to how to go about implementing it in the final product, much like Windows. Asus may very well be the first to announce such a notebook especially since the company was already working a Kinect-like prototype called the WAVI Xtion, so they might just chuck that and use the Kinect technology instead, since there’s a plethora of games for it, already and integrating that into Windows will be easier, since you have the backing from Microsoft.