Leander Kahney of “Cult of Mac” says (http://www.cultofmac.com/how-apple-almost-got-microsofts-kinect-game-controller/67951) that Apple was the first place that PrimeSense, the company who developed the technology behind Microsoft’s Kinect camera for the Xbox 360.
Kinect is a motion control system for the game console. It can can sense and respond to users’ body motions as well as their voices. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360, it enables users to control and interact with the console without a game controller. Instead they use gestures, spoken commands and/or objects and images.
Kinect responds to how you move. If you have to kick in a game, you kick. If you have to jump in a game, you jump. What’s more, it’s designed to respond to the sound of your vo
“It was the most natural place for the technology,” PrimeSense CEO Inon Beracha told Kahney. However, dealing with Apple was a “pain in the ass,” he says.
“Apple has a history of interface innovation, of course, and had recently introduced the iPhone with its paradigm-shifting multitouch UI,” says “Cult of Mac.” “PrimeSense’s system went one step further: It was multitouch that you didn’t even have to touch. Apple seemed like a natural fit. Yet the initial meetings hadn’t gone so well. Obsessed with secrecy, Apple had already asked Beracha to sign a stack of crippling legal agreements and NDAs.”
I’m not surprised. Apple can be a very difficult company with which to deal. Very difficult.
That’s a bit of a shame in this case as Beracha was right: Kinect would be a natural fit with Apple’s other work.
That said, I suspect Apple will eventually unveil its own version of a motion control system that works with the iSight/FaceTime camera on Apple’s Macs and Cinema Displays. The result would provides the ability to control your Mac and accomplish chores on it with gesture-based technology. I suspect we’ll see something like this come our way within the next 18 to 24 months.
— Dennis Sellers