Cult of Mac says PrimeSense, the company whose technology is behind Microsoft's new Xbox Kinect, originally tried to sell it to Apple. What went wrong and why didn't Apple get it? Yup, secrecy and control!
Apple has a history of interface innovation, of course, and had recently introduced the iPhone with its paradigm-shifting multitouch UI. PrimeSense’s system went one step further: It was multitouch that you didn’t even have to touch. Apple seemed like a natural fit.
Yet the initial meetings hadn’t gone so well. Obsessed with secrecy, Apple had already asked [PrimeSense CEO Inon Beracha] to sign a stack of crippling legal agreements and NDAs.
He shook his head. Why didn’t he want to do a deal with Apple? No need. The technology was hot. He could sell it to anyone.
I just got an Xbox Kinect and have been testing it out. The setup was a bit long and the only game I've tried so far is Kinect Adventure. (Farbod says Kinect Sports is better). We're standing about 7-feet away and it works well enough for a single player but has issues with 2 players. We lose the second player a lot. I'm going to try lowering the lights and seeing if we can increase the distance.
Contrast this with using the original iPhone's multitouch, which in my experience and in published tests is still not matched by other phones, and it's easy to see Apple did a great job and really polished the experience before they released it.
What would an Apple Kinect-style controller have looked like and how would it have performed? We'll never know now, but we can speculate in the comments! Minority Report iPhone anyone?
(Note: Image above is not really Steve Ballmer using a Kinect, but it's funny to pretend.)