Kinect: The Future of Business Communication?

Kinect Effect

One of the ideas I’m pursuing for this semester’s research project is how gesture-based computing will influence business communication. The 2012 Horizon Report notes that gesture-based computing will enter the higher education market in just 4-5 years.

But what about the business industry?

At the beginning of February, Microsoft launched Kinect for Windows, and there is speculation on how Kinect will work with Microsoft’s office communication tool Lync. What new communication tools will this offer users (voice recognition, improved video conferencing)? How will these be valuable to business communication?

In his TED talk, John Underkoffler discusses how gesture-based computing brings us back to a more fundamental interaction with information. For years we’ve been using tools like a mouse or keyboard to communication with information – use a mouse to open a folder, type in a keyword to find something on the web.

Would gesture-based computing bring us back to a more physical and perhaps natural interaction with information?

Businesses currently use tools like WebEx for virtual presentations, but as Underkoffler notes, while these tools deliver video and audio communication, they don’t foster collaboration.

Without the face-to-face experience, it can be difficult to engage a virtual audience. Even with tools like chat, video, and whiteboard activities, it’s still hard to create the same kind of collaboration and interaction that is more natural in a face-to-face environment.

We could even use this class as an example. One of the experiences that is missing from a online course is the exchange of ideas that flows more organically in a classroom conversation.

Will gesture-based computing change this?

What other opportunties to increase collaboration and information interaction will this technology provide?

How far off is it?

Will it be disruptive or will it naturally integrate into the business world?


Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012).
The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas:
The New Media Consortium.


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