If you haven’t heard of it, Microsoft decided to launch the Kinect for Windows interface in hopes of it catching on in time for the release of Windows 8, the latest – and weirdest – version of the Windows franchise. There are reasons this might have been a nice move for some, and a bad move for humans that don’t want to look like monkeys in front of their screens. I still patiently await to see the day when a CEO hooks up a Kinect device to his computer and starts fiddling with it. Perhaps it’s already happened and I missed the laugh of my life, but let me show you the top three reasons why Microsoft might have licked a little too much lead paint to come up with Kinect for Windows.
Wait… What’s a Kinect?
If you don’t know what a Kinect is, you didn’t miss out on much. It’s a device that simply reads your body and interprets your movements to reflect them in the form of changes to the screen. Let’s say you swipe your hand in the air to the left. It moves the current object on the screen to the left, uncovering what’s underneath or sliding what’s on the right of the screen to the center. Got it? Good! Here’s what a Kinect looks like:
As you might infer from the writing on the device, it was originally designed to work with the XBox 360. The new “Kinect for Windows” has special features to adapt to closer interaction, where the user sits right in front of the device, instead of standing at a distance like the Xbox 360’s Kinect would require.
1: You’re Going to Get Tired, Fast
Go ahead and do some jumping jacks for an hour. Feeling tired? That’s because you moved a lot, OK? Now, imagine working your Windows interface for hours using your arms, hands, and legs (in case you’re one of those people that drives with their feet). This is one of those reasons that you can’t help but to wonder if Microsoft is intentionally trying to get your muscles to ferment so you can’t hold up protest signs on the next weird decision it makes as a company. When many people are already complaining about having to lift a heavy remote control to change channels, I’d imagine that this little device will just be one of those toys that collect dust on everyone’s desk once they realize that the mouse and keyboard will get them where they want at least twice as fast.
2: You Have to Take More Showers
With exercise, you’re going to sweat, no matter how mundane or insignificant the movement you do seems at this moment. I guarantee that you’re going to sweat if you’re going to browse the web with the device, especially if you set the air conditioner at a higher temperature to save enough money on electric bills so you can buy ridiculous stuff like, say, the Kinect. Now, you’re going to have to take a shower every time you use the computer for two hours or more. It definitely gives a new meaning to the term “power user.”
3: You Can’t Invite Your Girlfriend/Family/Dog In The House While Using the Computer
Yes, even your dog might laugh at you waving your hands around like an agitated chimpanzee with your Kinect. Not only that, but the Kinect is also a voice interface. How would you feel like wobbling your arms in the air while shouting at a lifeless device in front of your girlfriend? What would your family say about you?
It’s perfectly acceptable behavior to tap away at the keyboard and move the mouse lightly, because you keep your hands in a familiar zone where people can walk past you without expecting to be accidentally slapped in the groin while you try to swish to the next page on a website. Now, you’re a dangerous orangutan on the loose every time you press the “Power” button on that wretched device that blasphemes the holy mouse and keyboard.
Think about it, and leave a comment below if you think you have more reasons to add to this.
Miguel has been working with computers back when the latest processor could print "Hello World" on the screen a couple of times and everyone was going nuts about that. From the days of DOS to the days of 'dows, he's been exploring every minute detail about computers, banging his head against the keyboard until he got it. Now he's blogging about it on his dedicated server until it breaks down, he repairs it, and just keeps on blogging.