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Microsoft Kinectimals: Gesture-Based Interfaces Come To Smartphones

One notable optics omission from Nokia's first two Windows Phone O/S-based handsets, a writeup on which I just published, is that they don't include the front-facing cameras which Windows Phone v7.5 supports for the first time, and which other OEMs are including in their new "Mango"-based handsets. The omission is especially surprising given that Nokia's partner Microsoft just finalized its acquisition of Skype, whose videoconferencing capabilities beg for such a feature. And Nokia's lens-and-sensor lapse will also preclude the company's first-generation products from supporting a new Microsoft smartphone game, Kinectimals for Windows Phone.

Kinectimals is a title that's probably already familiar to you if you own an Xbox 360 and have youth (or youth-at-heart) at home. It reflects Microsoft's growing efforts to cooperatively leverage its game console and handset assets in a synergistic manner; for example, you can begin the game on one platform, pause it, and then continue it on the other. However, as the name implies, the Windows Phone version of the content leverages the handset's front-facing image sensor for limited user interface control, which is pretty impressive when you consider that the game console peripheral's multiple image sensors (not to mention the infrared transmitter, or the formidable processing horsepower) aren't available in this particular case. For more, check out the video below: