A handful of prototype laptops spotted at CES with Microsoft's Kinect hardware built in are currently generating some serious buzz.
Originally a hardware add-on for the Xbox 360 game console, the Kinect has the potential to be built into a lot of devices, at least those that run Windows. Enterprising hobbyists have already hacked it to work on PCs, and the next step is to take the bulky oversize Webcam hardware and shrink it down so it fits inside a laptop, with no external hardware required.
The Daily originally pointed out these prototypes, and described them as follows: "The devices, which at first glance appear to be Asus Netbooks running Windows 8, feature an array of small sensors stretching over the top of the screen where the Webcam would normally be. At the bottom of the display is a set of what appear to be LEDs."
My colleague Scott Stein was aptly dubious: "The real question here is, who's going to use this?" he wrote recently, adding, "Based on my experiences with Kinect, accuracy could be an issue for fine movement controls such as video editing (or, any sort of virtual touch-pad analog)."