CEOs and stuffy executive types will soon be using videogame technology to see each other's fancy Brooks Brothers suits.
American Psycho eat your heart out. You can now add virtual video conferences to the robots and 3D video that Kinect will make possible. Microsoft announced that with a service called Lync, Kinect units will soon be able to send and receive video and audio for use in meetings and conferences. The Kinect update will occur in a "seamless update" in an upcoming patch and it will have features like being able to follow and track a speaker as he moves around the room. The Lync client isn't just for Kinect, it will be able to communicate with mobile phones, Windows Live Messenger, and nearly all browsers so that it will provide have a completely integrated network. Still, it seems that Microsoft's plans for Kinect are not just for fuzzy animals and crazy rafting games.
"What we've done is really connected the game or the family room, living room scenario with the work scenario which is what I call the 'dads two kids' scenario," said Gurdeep Singh Pall from the Microsoft Office Lync & Speech Group in a presentation yesterday. "The fact that there are a million Kinects sold within the first few days, there's clearly a lot of excitement around that. We're very happy to bridge the Kinect network, the Windows Live network, the Lync enterprises, Lync Online together to form a really rich, federated network for rich communications."
Joining him in the presentation was Chris Capossela, SVP of Microsoft's Information Worker Product Management Group. "So you can actually see the Kinect devices following me as I stand up or move around the room. Again, making this available to gamers around the world is obviously why we've sold a million of these devices and Kinect Adventures and Dance Central. They're great. Gurdeep's team is saying, hey, why not actually make this a great communications device too and integrate the family room into the board room and make it incredibly easy to communicate across these different dimensions?"
Why not indeed? And why not put a Kinect in every boardroom on Wall Street? Working at an investment bank in New York City in one of my many past lives, I can tell you that those poor analysts could certainly use a break from the 90 hour work weeks they are forced to put in. A little naked Dance Central in the office would certainly blow off some steam.