Kinect Gesture and UX Innovation Provides Fuel for Startups

The release of Microsoft Kinect v2 opens the doors for a wide variety of new market opportunities because of its increased precision and extended capabilities. If a startup is able to transform gesture capabilities into solutions with excellent user experiences, they will be well on their way to success and prosperity.

During the past 3 years at REAPWaterloo, we have been experimenting with interactive and immersive digital experiences and business applications. We have identified potential solution opportunities and tested different types of UX designs to determine whether the new interface is desirable to the target audience and sustainable as a business model. With Kinect v2’s hi-fidelity depth sensing and skeletal tracking, many of the UX issues we’ve identified can be resolved. Projects that have been shelved can be revived and completed now that we have the Kinect v2 sensors. From those projects, new businesses will hopefully emerge.

As part of the REAPWaterloo research, we have developed 3D environments and played with a wide variety of user experience (UX) interfaces.  We discovered that people needed to learn to think differently about how to move and control the virtual 3D world.  We needed to simplify our designs to basic, simple gestures because the audience didn’t know how to use gestures to control their experience.

Particularly with gesture-based interfaces, user experience (UX and UI design) is an integral part of the business innovation process.  If you recall the days before computers had mice for interacting with and controlling programs, you’ll understand how new interfaces can drastically transform your world. Younger people will remember the days before the World Wide Web browser protocol. Mobile technology brought touch-controlled surface interfaces. Notice how each technology transformation resulted in drastic changes to our interface paradigms? The advances in interactive controls have also raised awareness of the importance of good user experience design and created a huge demand for UX and UI designers. UX design is now a critical, integral component that will make the difference between success or failure of a product.  If you’re looking for a new career direction, take a close look at UX design and register for the September Fluxible Conference.

If you want to be an “Entrepreneur”, then take a very close look at all the new features and capabilities available in the Microsoft Kinect For Windows. Think about the types of problems that people struggle with daily that might be resolved through gesture controls. Think about how our relationship with technology can change if we removed the encumbrances of physical devices. Look for market opportunities that can be addressed by taking technologies that are already available on the market and integrating/adapting them to create truly innovative new solutions. When you can use your whole body for a more natural human interface, your relationship with the technology can be transformed. With a good UX design, you can feel more empowered and can stretch beyond the boundaries of the technology.

With and through our bodies, we experience ourselves” says Vincent John Vincent. In his IdeaCity talk, the pioneer of video gesture control technology discusses how he connects virtual worlds with the real world through the use of device-free controlling. From the early days of interactive gesture control in the 1980’s, Vincent has been pushing the envelope of what it means for a human to interact with technology.  If you can identify a unique problem that can be solved using gesture-based controls and a good UX design, then you have the seed that you need to build a new, innovative business. If you can design a solution that makes people feel excited, empowered and alive because they can move naturally, your Startup is almost guaranteed to be a success.


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