PCs to get Kinect 'in a formal way' - Microsoft CEO

CES 2011: Steve Ballmer tells BBC that motion-sensing system will make its way to Windows systems...eventually.

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At his 2011 Consumer Electronics Show keynote address, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made much of the Kinect, the Xbox 360's motion-sensing system. The camera-based, controller-free peripheral shipped 8 million units last year, 3 million more than the 5 million units the company expected it to.

Kinect: Coming to the PC…eventually.
Kinect: Coming to the PC…eventually.

With the Kinect already a hit on the Xbox 360, many people are wondering if the add-on will ever be released for Microsoft's omnipresent product, Windows. Speaking with the BBC, Ballmer appeared to confirm that a PC-compatible Kinect will indeed be released--eventually, anyway.

When asked "Will you be able to plug a Kinect into a PC?" by the interviewer, Ballmer answered thusly: "We'll support that in a formal way in the right time, and when we have an announcement to make, we'll make it."

Microsoft isn't the only one bringing Kinect technology to PCs. There are currently numerous research projects that have created open-source Windows drivers for the Kinect, leading to such experimental creations as a Kinect-based mini-copter and a Roomba-like robot. Also, earlier this week, Primesense, one of the companies behind Kinect tech, announced it was working on a similar motion-sensing system for the PC. Called WAVI Xtion, the system is being manufactured by PC maker Asus and will be available in the second quarter of this year.

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