The new add-on for XBox 360 could inspire new ways of human-machine interaction besides just gaming and entertainment.

Its been one week since Microsoft released Kinect, offering its XBox 360 customers a controller-free gaming and entertainment experience. With the Kinect add-on, you can play games, video chat, flip the console’s menu and perform other functions, all with a swipe of the hands in thin air. But could the cutting-edge technology behind this device be used in a wider context, and for more useful applications? Microsoft believes so.

The company says that Kinect is just the first step towards an interactive world where technology understands what humans want from them, allowing for a more natural way for people and devices to communicate. Be its advanced motion tracking, voice recognition or several of its other unique features, the Microsoft Kinect has already generated quite an interest in other industries, from health care to cell phones and even the military.

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