Microsoft has announced today that it has new plans for its Kinect control system that has nothing to do with gaming. Microsoft will be providing a SDK that is designed to allow the development of Kinect for commercial applications. The Kinect for Windows SDK has been around for a while, but that was aimed at allowing the use of the Kinect motion controller for research and geeky tinkering.
One of the things that Microsoft is working on to expand the reach of the Kinect is to bring the price down. Xbox CFO Dennis Durkin says that once that price is reduced enough a lot of new developer opportunities open up. One company that has already developed an interesting use for Kinect is Toyota. The carmaker has a virtual showroom for its vehicles that users can browse with the Kinect control system.
The Kinect has been selling very well and many of the controllers didn't get purchased for gaming but for other uses. Winrumors reports that Microsoft sold 10 million of the Kinect controllers in 2012 after expecting to sell only 5 million. That led to shortages in some places making the sensor hard to find. It will be interesting to see how the business world uses Kinect once the updated SDK lands in early 2012.