Motion control: Startup company GestSure uses Kinect for Windows to allow surgeons to look through medical images without having to touch unsterile equipment.

Microsoft’s Plan to Bring About the Era of Gesture Control

Apple might have made the touch screen ubiquitous, but Microsoft thinks hands-free interfaces will be just as big.

Monday, October 22, 2012

While most of the headlines about Microsoft this fall will concern its new operating system, Windows 8, and its new Surface tablet, the company is also working hard on a long-term effort to reinvent the way we interact with existing computers. The company wants to make it as common to wave your arms at or speak to a computer as it is to reach for a mouse or touch screen today.

That’s the goal of a program called Kinect for Windows, which aims to put the wildly successful gaming accessory Kinect wherever Microsoft’s ubiquitous operating system is found. It’s also designed to allow computers to be used in new ways—for example, by surgeons who don’t want to touch a keyboard with sterilized hands midway through surgery.

“We’re trying to encourage [software] developers to create a whole new class of app controlled by gesture and voice,” says Peter Zatloukal, head of engineering for the Kinect for Windows program.

Read more: Microsoft's Plan to Bring About the Era of Gesture Control – Technology Review.

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