Microsoft Kinect May Be Coming to Cars to Add More Distractions

By Jacob Brown | June 26, 2012
Microsoft Kinect is an xBox 360 add-on that allows three-dimensional cameras to read body motions, so you can use a the wave of your arm as a controller. It's a fantastic invention, but should it be part of your car? Microsoft thinks so. In a job listing Wired's Autopia dug up, Microsoft says its hiring a software engineer to help with its next generation of in-car infotainment. Specifically, Microsoft says it's looking for a way to integrate its Kinect, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Live, Bing, Azure, and Tellme software into its design. The job posting says infotainment of the future will employ use of cloud-based networking and gesture-based commands. Currently, Microsoft uses its Windows CE platform for its infotainment software in MyFord Touch and Sync, and Kia's UVO. Over the past few years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Ray LaHood has decried infotainment systems as accident-causing distractions, best left out of cars entirely instead of finding more seamless integration to make for a less-distracting experience. But Microsoft seems to believe that the future of in-car communications and entertainment technology will undoubtedly involve gesture recognition for basic commands, government posturing be damned. At last January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, we saw a gesture-based technology suite from Mercedes-Benz to go along with a future self-driving car. The automaker told us the technology existed to make it a reality, but it hadn't found a way to make the computer small enough or light weight to properly fit inside one of its luxury sedans. With Microsoft entering the fray, we're now led to believe the technology is closer to reality than 20 years off, as Mercedes-Benz officials told us. The question then becomes: Who will be the first to come out with it in a normal production car? We're excited to find out and see how it works in the real world. Source: Wired Autopia
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