Microsoft Corp. is gearing up to release its revolutionary Kinect sensing device on its Windows platform on Feb. 1, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said Monday.
Ballmer was speaking at the company's last keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), currently being held in Las Vegas.
The Kinect is one of the few truly successful devices the company has created. According to a post on the company's blog by Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft Corp.'s Vice President, 18 million units of the gaming peripheral have been sold since its debut in late 2010. According to a Reuters report, the Kinect was an especially fast-selling item during the holiday season, with over 7 million Xbox and Kinect units sold.
The product, which revolutionized the gaming arena, has so far been offered only as an accompaniment to the Xbox, allowing users to play games on television sets solely through gestures and voice commands. Microsoft, however, plans to take the motion sensor beyond just interactive gaming and is working with 200 partners to develop PC-compatible Kinect applications.
The extent of what the Kinect can do for Windows users remains unexplored. However, the thought of controlling an operating system without having to touch a mouse or keyboard is quite exciting. A Kinect video posted the previous year suggests the technology can provide some remarkable functions, even outside of the realm of computers and gaming.
Meanwhile, the blog also stated that the tech giants held a demonstration of a Kinect-enabled two-way television, which allowed children to interact with puppets from the television show Sesame Street.
Microsoft also demonstrated the new Metro interface for Windows 8 OS and tablets. However, few details were available on that score.