The Kinect has come out and sold over 8 million units in two months, making it the fastest selling technology device in history. While it was designed for gaming primarily the PrimeSense technology in the Kinect allows the Xbox 360 to detect facial expressions in real time, interpret voice and and tell players apart could be very appealing to marketers.
Big brands, including Burger King and Samsung, jumped in first with Kinect gaming promotions, writes Tomer Tishgarten. But the marketing potential of Kinect extends far beyond video games. In the near term, marketers could leverage Kinect technology to create eye-opening trade show displays and in-store promotions. Freed from the gaming console, the technology can draw people into an immersive, interactive experience. Innovative web-based applications will also be worth considering as the technology reaches a critical mass of 15 percent of households or users, a point at which adoption rates tend to accelerate.
There’s huge potential down the road for players’ Avatars or even their own scanned in selves and interaction. Consumers could try on clothing, tour a vacation spot and or see how furniture looked in your living room.
Marketers have tremendous opportunities to differentiate themselves from their competitors in this new environment. Yet they also face the challenge of developing those experiences without instructions or precedents, notes Tishgarten. Before agencies and developers can create the architecture of this new world and customized applications for brands they must first study what makes the new technology tick, which is why developers have been so busy ‘hacking’ Kinect. The development tools for Kinect are still fairly immature at this stage, but they do provide enough capabilities to build some interesting applications. As more work is done to support these tools by Microsoft and the larger development community, the possibilities for Kinect will grow exponentially.