60-Second Tech

Microsoft Bets on Gestures to Buoy Windows Phones

Microsoft is allegedly adding Kinect-for-Xbox–like gesture recognition to the next generation of Nokia’s Lumia smartphone. Larry Greenemeier reports


Consumer ambivalence has plagued Microsoft’s Windows phones for years. Now the company wants to wave goodbye to those tepid feelings. Literally. Because Microsoft is allegedly adding gesture recognition to the next generation of Nokia’s Lumia smartphone.
Gesture recognition would work as for Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox, according to a report on the tech news Web site The Verge.
Microsoft won’t comment on the rumor, which says that, instead of shooting bad guys or kicking virtual soccer goals, Nokia handsets would let you control Windows phone apps and games using hand movements.
Nokia had been working on a gesture-based phone interface long before Microsoft bought the company’s devices and services business this year. Using Kinect, Nokia could, for example, let you answer your Windows Phone by simply placing it to your ear and hang up by putting the device in your pocket. Those gesture controls are more advanced than what Samsung introduced with its Galaxy S 4 last year.
Speaking of competition, Amazon is expected to introduce its newest device next week. Some say it could be the company’s long-anticipated smartphone, featuring a 3-D interface.
Microsoft should enjoy the buzz while it can. A new Amazon smartphone is likely to only increase consumer ambivalence towards Windows Phones.
—Larry Greenemeier
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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