"We're a pioneer with Kinect," Microsoft says
In five years, you'll laugh at any computing device that doesn't offer voice input, Yusuf Mehdi says.
The Xbox One's ability to offer voice- and gesture-based commands is a groundbreaking feature and one that most consumer devices will use in the next five years. That's according to Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi, who told Forbes that Microsoft remains committed to Kinect even after the recent news that the company is unbundling it from Xbox One.
"The way I look at it is that you should take a five-year vision. I think in five years, we will laugh at any computing device you can't walk up to and talk to," Mehdi said. "Voice is going to be there for all devices. We're a pioneer with Kinect in the living room."
"The way I look at it is that you should take a five-year vision. I think in five years, we will laugh at any computing device you can't walk up to and talk to" -- Yusuf Mehdi
"And it's not just voice, and it's voice and biometric ID. The ability to pioneer that, and with the success we've had so far with five million people, it's remarkable," he added. "We feel great about it. And look, we're going to learn a lot, and our partners are going to learn a lot, and our customers are going to learn a lot, and we're going to continue to shape it. But I think we're breaking a lot of new ground and we're delighted with the progress."
Also in the interview, Mehdi said it was the "right call" to bundle Xbox One with Kinect when the platform launched last November, even though the company has now backtracked just six months later.
"In the beginning of a new console generation, you're trying to set the bar for a new experience, and I think we did that with Xbox One," Mehdi said.
Mehdi pointed out that 80 percent of all Xbox One owners use Kinect actively, and that players have issued over 1 billion voice commands to date.
Though removing Kinect from the standard Xbox One unit has led to some level of consternation from developers, doing so will actually help the camera technology enter more homes in the long run, Microsoft's Phil Spencer says. This is because, Spencer argues, more people are likely to buy the Xbox One at its new $399 price point and then purchase a standalone Kinect unit later down the road.