Kinect in Windows Phone 8 sounds absolutely amazingEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
So Windows Phone is all the rage right now. The rage, maybe even with a capital ‘R.’ Now that the Nokia Lumia 900 is out and about, showing off its ridiculously nice features and beautiful display, everybody and their step-cousin is talking about the latest and greatest Windows Phone device. And that’s fantastic for both Microsoft and Nokia, but I’ve got to admit: it came out of nowhere. Because, let’s face it, software is basically the same thing, even if the hardware is fantastic.
But that aside, it really is fantastic that the attention going towards Windows Phone has certainly turned a curve, and I’m glad to see that it’s not all negative press. But, the trouble is, I still think that most of the draw for Windows Phone is actually what is still being planned for the mobile platform, and not what’s actually in play right this moment.
I’ll be frank: when Windows Phone first came out, I was in love with it. I loved the OS, and I loved the fact that it was tied to my Xbox LIVE GamerTag. Loved it all. But then it all wore off, and now I’m not all that blown away by the platform. I hope that changes at some point in the future, but it’s the notification system right now that just doesn’t do it for me.
In any event, like I was saying, it’s still what’s coming down the pipe for Microsoft’s mobile operating system that has me all excited. While I’m still waiting to see games that I can play on my phone, then my console, and back on my phone smoothly, I’m now even more excited for something else, and this deals with the camera.
We’ve actually seen how Windows Phone can interact with Kinect-enabled games in the past. We watched as a woman used her phone to manipulate a ball on the television, which was then being hurled at a player using the Kinect. She could plot the ball’s path, and it was a great idea and a lot of fun to watch.
But, now there’s a new idea rolling around the ‘net today suggesting that Kinect may be implemented right into Windows Phone. According to the new report, Windows Phone 8, which is codenamed Apollo, will feature the Kinect camera inside the handsets that run the newest version of Windows Phone right out of the box. That would mean you’d get to use your voice, along with gestures, to control the aspects of your phone. While the details aren’t there, who needs those? Use your imagination, because this is a fantastic idea.
What keeps coming into my mind is baseball. I told you about the video showcasing the woman manipulating the ball with her touchscreen phone, and it showing on the game, through the TV. Well, what if you could just use the Kinect camera on your phone to use simple hand gestures to throw a curve ball, or fastball, or knuckleball? You’re looking at your phone, and you quickly swipe your index and middle finger to the right, and bam, you’ve got yourself a curve ball. And then someone playing on the Kinect next to you (or a few feet from you) is swinging their heart out, trying to crack a home run.
We’ve talked about gestures for our phones before, but with the technology that is packed inside Kinect, Microsoft has some real potential here. And you know what? That goes right in line with what I’ve said in the past. The potential of Windows Phone outweighs its current state, and while that’s a great way to keep people like me excited for the future, it begs the question:
When is Windows Phone’s potential going to catch up to the reality?