Kinect is cool to a certain extent. It may be an XBOX gadget but the idea behind it is pretty much there – you dance around and the sensor feeds your movements back to the game. Microsoft essentially aim to produce the most diverse gaming experience possible and it has been very popular with social/casual gamers however it has not been as popular with the more hard core members of the community. Ideally it should have arrived a few years previously before the Wii was launched, and if that had happened Microsoft would easily have an XBOX in 1/3 of homes.
Kinect has been around since last year and so rumors are beginning to emerge about Kinect 2. The new Kinect would be released early next year and would have a dramatically improved sensor – the visible light camera on the current model is 640 by 480 and the infra-red sensor is 320-240. Clearly this will need to be improved before the release of the next model. If it had a higher resolution (and faster chip?) it may be able to pick up facial movements better, potentially allowing for lip reading.
The other thing to talk about with Kinect is a more official event. Microsoft have announced a scheme called ‘The Kinect Accelerator’. They plan to sponsor ten start-ups with $20,000 and office space to come up with a viable business use of Kinect, including everything from XBOX games to public galleries. The idea is interesting and no doubt it will be successful, but I would doubt that Microsoft will get all their money back.