Kinect 'interactive ads' coming to Xbox 360

Microsoft's Kinect motion control system for Xbox 360 will be used to interact with advertising as more film and television content is added to the Xbox Live service. Photo / Supplied
Microsoft's Kinect motion control system for Xbox 360 will be used to interact with advertising as more film and television content is added to the Xbox Live service. Photo / Supplied

Microsoft will bring interactive ads to Xbox360 consoles using the voice- and gesture-recognising capabilities of Kinect controllers.

The US technology titan unveiled "NUads" technology that it heralded as the future of television advertising.

"I believe that the Kinect platform, and NUads, will unlock the incredible potential of interactive TV, and interactive TV advertising," Microsoft advertising business group general manager Mark Kroese said in a blog post.

Microsoft has been beefing up film and television show content at its Xbox Live service that consoles connect with using the internet.

This includes content like Netflix and ESPN in the US, and Foxtel ('cable TV') in Australia. In New Zealand the video offering is currently confined to Zune video content, downloadable in exchange for Microsoft points.

Broadcast television functionality will come to the Xbox in New Zealand "within the year" according to a Microsoft spokesperson.

Kinect controllers allow people to tell a console to post a video ad in a Twitter update or ask it for more information about a product.

Viewers can use waves of hands to share opinions in polls or send material to themselves by email.

"Simply put, NUads break down the barriers between consumers and content on the TV screen," Kroese said.

"NUads make traditional linear content - like a 30-second TV spot - irresistibly interactive," he continued.

Early in June, Microsoft added YouTube, voice commands, television shows and more to Xbox 360 with Kinect as the hot-selling videogame console matures into an entertainment centre for all.

Microsoft ramped up voice capabilities in Kinect to allow Xbox users not only to give commands to in-game characters but also to speak Bing searches for games, movies, television shows, music and other entertainment content.

Microsoft has sold more than 10 million of the gesture-sensing Kinect accessories for the Xbox 360 worldwide since they hit the market in November.

Kinect uses a 3D camera and motion recognition software to let people play videogames on the Xbox 360 using natural body movements and voice commands instead of hand-held controllers.

Microsoft has expressed a vision of Kinect moving beyond the living room to medical centres, schools and other places where technology to track skeletal movement and recognise voices could be useful.

- AFP

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