Well, I wanted to go check out the Microsoft Store in the Bellevue Square mall, and so I did. Not a very good picture – I felt a little spare between all the geeks to take a picture of the store (They might think ‘What’s with this guy? Is he not used to anything?’ .. I need to ignore that of course, if I want good pictures). But in the right corner they have a demonstration going of their new Kinect system for the Xbox. The Kinect is a single sensor bar that contains two depth sensors, and a standard RGB camera. It enables interactive video games with the Xbox. Depth is a huge feature of the Kinect, and the cameras can track both your movement from side-to-side, as well as front-to-back and up and down, making the entire range of movements potentially game controls. The Kinect also features a built-in microphone that allows voice-activated commands when applicable, and the vocal feature does pop up in games now and again. The ‘game’ they demonstrated was a dance routine that the player needs to do, and then you get a score. The system has been very successful, selling 2 million units in the USA so far. (I think I read somewhere that the Xbox itself has not really made money for the company).
The rest of the store is nicely laid out with notebook computers from Dell, Sony and HP (of course loaded with Microsoft products and Windows 7), and mobile phones with the new Windows Phone 7 system on.