If you haven't heard about it yet, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) unveiled its Kinect motion-sensing system at the E3 convention this week. It's an attachment to the Xbox 360 and is used for gaming.
At least it had better be used for gaming, because I think the idea of petting a virtual cat, which can be done with the software Kinectimals, is pretty weird. Not to mention futile. Where's the fur? The buzzing purr? On the plus side, there's no litter box.
What I can hardly wait to see is what a game developer like Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI ) is going to do with it. Can you imagine playing Call of Duty with that? Hiding behind the couch, aiming and shooting the gun at opponents on the screen, changing or reloading weapons on the fly. Jumping, leaping. My living room is toast.
Or how about Take-Two Interactive's (Nasdaq: TTWO ) Grand Theft Auto? Racing through city streets could be a lot more intense if the system can sense me changing gears, accelerating and braking, and steering hard around the corners.
But gaming on the Kinect system is just the beginning. Merged with the physical interactivity that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) developed for its iPhone and iPad, it could lead to computer interaction as imagined in the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. Pick a file off a screen and put it onto another computer by tossing it at another screen. Delete files with a hand swipe. Coming to a computer near you, probably sooner than we think.
But what I really want is a Star Trek holodeck. I'd invest in that in a heartbeat. At the least, it would save my living room.