Kinesis Helps Web Developers Leverage Kinect’s Gesture Tech

New Indian startup wants to help make it easy to leverage Microsoft’s Kinect, which is still one of the most interesting things to come out of the video games industry in a long time, and will soon likely be much better integrated into Windows thanks the to recent release of an official SDK for Kinect for Windows. Kinesis will make it easy for web developers to also leverage Kinect’s gesture recognition, allowing for innovative interactivity that looks towards the future of computing.

Kinesis, which launched in private beta in May and hopes to introduce a new version with expanded functionality soon, is a tool for helping developers who are comfortable with standard web languages like HTML and JavaScript add Kinect functionality to their apps, including gesture controls, speech recognition, augmented reality features and more. The startup says that web developers can get up and running in as little as two minutes, and even provides a Kinect simulator so that even devs without access to phsyical Kinect hardware can add support for Microsoft’s revolutionary input device.

It’s a big opportunity for web app makers, according to co-founder Bhavesh Dhupar. “Kinesis is designed to make Kinect more accessible, because we’re using open standards,” he said. “Some developers are using it for specific purposes, like looking at x-rays, and presentations, but they haven’t been able to do that via simple JS. Now they can.”

Dhupar told us that aside from online presentation tools, which are a natural fit for Kinect and something that a lot of developers on the platform are working on, there are also plenty of advantages of using Kinesis to help build online learning and instruction tools. Skill marketplaces are popping up all over the place, and online video instruction is a key component of some of those offerings. With Kinesis, a developer can create a program that identifies a yoga instructor’s body positioning, and then tracks a student’s ability to mimic that positioning with a high degree of accuracy. It’s the next best thing to having hands-on, in person instruction, and potentially provides students with a much higher quality of virtual instruction.

Right now, the team is working on significant additions to the platform for the next version, which will introduce an expanded set of pre-built gestures. Developers will be able to select from a range of unique gestures that they can incorporate in their apps just by including a couple of lines of code. Those features are also the key to Kinesis’s future business model, since Dhupar says that when the platform eventually launches, gestures will be available in limited amounts on the free plan, and then in different paid packages depending on a developer’s needs.

While the potential Kinesis unlocks is incredibly cool from a tech standpoint, there is some question about widespread adoption, and there are others doing things with gesture control aimed specifically at the PC market, like Leap Motion. But Microsoft seems intent on making Kinect and Xbox a core part of their living room strategy, and that’s very good for Kinesis. Developers could eventually be creating apps targeted at providing at-home audiences with lean back experiences running on a browser for Kinect. It’ll make it that much easier to become part of the connected TV experience, which could result in strong uptake and considerable usage if developers turn to HTML5 web apps to remain platform agnostic as more and more companies offer up their own competing smart TV solutions.

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