The Kinect gaming experience is surprisingly delightful on its own, but better still are the hacks sprouting up as a result of what it can do.
This isn't just about its potential to bring Star Wars technology out of the fictional realm. My favourite hack turns tourists into statues, but a more dedicated gaming public will probably be more interested in Kinect's possibilities for cybersex.
All that's just iceberg tips. In a rare and beautiful moment of lucidity, Microsoft -- with help from twofifteenmccann San Francisco -- gives us "The Kinect Effect", a human and impactful piece of work that provides a survey of what's been done with Kinect so far, using a voice that both illuminates viewers and seems touchingly grateful.
"Even though the world keeps asking us what we'll do with Kinect next, we're just as excited to ask the world the same thing," simpers the narrator prettily. Meanwhile, the music slows to a stop in time with a girl playing an invisible violin, drawing heartstrings taut with her suspended fingers.
Visit the Kinect Effect website for news and video on how the console is being used to help stroke patients, kids with autism, and the terminally bored. You can also upload your own stories.
For now, this is the closest Microsoft gets to the coveted iPadfomercial, but then again, the Kinect makes a better brand equity rival to iPad than any of Microsoft's other products do. We root for both in equal measure, because the sky's the limit on how both turn human imagination into innovation. As reader Atif Chaudhry put it, "What is impressive [about the Kinect] isn't what it can do ... but that it is affordable. The reasonable price point makes it viable for all sorts of applications!" Well, here's to cheap dreamcatchers.
Below is the French version of the ad, "L'Effet Kinect", and accompanying site. It's the same, but in French; we are just posting it because we saw this version before the English one.