It's 11:30 at night. You've already called the boss hacking and coughing, which means a three day weekend is in your immediate future. To celebrate, you kill a six pack of your favorite beer and settle in for a long night of watching Arrested Development on re-run. Twenty-two (ish) minutes into your escape from reality the first episode ends. You look around for the remote, only to realize with dawning horror that it is sitting next to the television, nearly eight feet away.
This horrifying situation and hundreds of others like it will be a thing of the past, thanks to Microsoft's Kinect. This motion-capture device is for more than just gaming; Microsoft made it clear in their fact sheet and keynote that the Kinect is meant to be a total home entertainment solution. Music, movies, ESPN sports..all of it and more will be integrated into your Kinect/360 set-up.
You'll be able to pause, play, change your selection, fast forward and tweak the volume without ever leaving your couch, or worrying about a peripheral controller. Voice commands and gestures will be your new user interface.
Every company claims their products are revolutionary. In this case, Microsoft is likely correct. The Kinect is like no other device on the market right now. If it works as advertised (and the live demos make a very compelling case for that) the Kinect has the potential to be as important in the evolution of home media as the remote control.
Imagine a future, lets say ten years down the road, when almost every home in America has a Kinect-like device in the living room. Obesity is about to skyrocket. If you don't buy a Kinect this Christmas, I'd recommend investing the money in textiles. Clothing is about to get a lot larger.