Kinect Makes Ads More Interactive

Microsoft has announced it will allow advertisers to offer interactive commercials for Kinect users. But a patent filing suggests viewers may be more closely involved in the advertising process than they realize.

The commercials, dubbed NUads, look to be a combination of a gimmick to get viewers to pay closer attention and a way to further test how well the motion recognition on Kinect works and can be integrated into non-gaming situations.

Samsung Mobile, Toyota, and Unilever have already signed up to use the technology in ads. It seems the main set-up will be to get users to answer a question or “cast a vote” either by waving in a certain way or speaking. If it works as planned, the commercial will display live details of the overall votes among viewers.

You do have to wonder how long it will be before this goes a step further and Microsoft starts letting people buy advertised products through their Xbox account. Amazon’s 1-click is one thing, but what about a 1-grunt system?

The technology comes just days after the revelation that Microsoft has applied for a patent to track a user’s mood through their facial expression and then use the data to deliver appropriate advertising: “Advertisers specify desired emotional states of users they intend to target with advertisements. Advertisers also provide emotional tags having the desired emotional state of users that should see the advertisements linked to the emotional tags.”

It’s enough to drive a man to drink. And then show him a booze commercial.