Microsoft Lync Meets Video Kinect on Xbox 360

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Microsoft Lync Meets Video Kinect on Xbox 360

During my New York City demo with Microsoft's Lync team a few weeks ago I discussed with one of the Microsoft employees the Kinect for the Xbox 360 and how it would be a perfect fit for Microsoft Lync. He hinted it would indeed be coming. The Kinect is basically a two-camera system, comprised of one 640x480 color camera and another 640x480 IR depth-finding camera using for mapping objects in 3D. Kinect already offers video chat with Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger system, but that is more of a consumer-based app. Certainly adding Microsoft Lync support to Kinect makes a lot of sense. With it, business users of Lync (and Office 365) will be able to videoconference with home users of XBox game consoles using Kinect. Well, Microsoft is indeed bridging the business user with the home user with the announcement of Video Kinect.

In a couple of live demos on launch day, Microsoft demonstrated the shared whiteboarding app and a videoconference between a Lync user in a corporate office and a colleague in a living room at home. The XBox lacks a keyboard, however the Kinect user is the controller using arm-waving gestures at the camera to perform functions. Although the Xbox 360 does not currently work with Microsoft Lync now, it is coming shortly with a software update. Just make sure when you're supposed to be working from home your boss doesn't call your Kinect and see you're all out of breath from playing Kinect Dance Central!

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