Note: The product illustrated above is not a real product nor is it officially associated with Microsoft. It is a fictional concept created by a third-party. You will be slapped if you makes a connection to the contrary.
The prestigious advertising awards Cannes Lions and ad agency AKQA has held an advertising campaign competition which challenged students to “advertise a product from a global brand in a way that couldn’t have been done five year ago”.
This year, several students submitted entries based around the Kinect – no doubts inspired by the Kinect Effect. However one in particular, submitted by “Anne Boisen”, stood out for me as not only a great mock ad but also a great product concept with real practicality and potential for the blind.
Assuming a mobile version of the Kinect is technically feasible, the idea Anne proposes it to hook it up with a vest with haptic-feedback capabilities that a blind user would wear. Using the depth sensor and image recognition capabilities of the Kinect, it would alert the person of obstacles and navigational instructions by pressuring different parts of the abdomen.
The other Kinect-inspired concept is a miniature mobile attachment that reads sign language which translates it to text to enable mobile communications for deaf users.
On that note, it’s quite interesting how both Kinect concepts benefit those with disabilities.
Update: Thanks to a heads up from a commenter, the idea is actually realized with a software project at the University of Konstanz.