Arctec Prints 3D Selfies

3D printing services are coming for you.  Arctec, a manufacturer of 3D scanners is showing the capability of an easy-to-find off-the-shelf scanner with its new service, which uses the Microsoft Kinect camera to scan your entire body.  The service is somewhat imperfect, as lighting issues and the constant turning can create problems with the scan, but the scans appear to be useable.  At the end of the process, a user can download his or her scan or pay for a print for $59.  While this application is whimsical at best, it could represent how we use 3D scanning and printing in the future, by scanning with easy to use home-based hardware for off-site printing.

Mondelez Brings Personalized Recommendations In-Store

Amazon recommendations are a huge driver of purchase so why not bring that into the physical retail? That’s what Mondelez is planning for 2015, using Kinect technology to identify shoppers based on facial features and then displaying personalized messages in-store. While this technology exists today, brands need to be very wary of how they leverage that data given the privacy implications.  

Extreme Reality Wants To Make Regular Webcams Act Like Kinects

An Israeli startup specializing in motion capture technology says it has developed a platform to give any basic webcam or laptop camera Kinect-like capabilities.  The company, called Extreme Reality, aims to give users “a console-like experience without the user having to buy additional hardware.”  So far a handful of game makers like have adopted their technology, including game giant SEGA, as well as a handful of indie houses.  After eight years of closed-door development, this breakthrough is the first taste of what Extreme Motion has been up to, but the future looks bright as there seems to be more where that came from.

Kinect Patent Indicates Ad Tracking Possibilities

According to a recent patent for XBox One’s Kinect, the tech may be utilized to measure viewing behaviors and monitor user engagement. This use case could be powerful for ad tracking and can also be leveraged to reward users for ad views. We’ve seen third party developers utilize Kinect for Out-of-Home measurement, but this would mark the first time Microsoft would be bringing it to the millions of Xbox homes on their platform. Privacy concerns abound however, so expect some backlash if they do decide to implement the tech.

Gesture Everything: Leap Motion Controller

Kinect was fun for gamers, and enticing to marketers for out of home installations. Now it’s time for “the Kinect on steroids,” known as the Leap Motion Controller.  The controller is set to launch at retail on May 13th, but lucky individuals are getting to see it in action at SXSW this week with a host of compatible software by a range of developers.  The early enthusiasm over the device is, at least partially, owed to its ability to detect changes in motion as small as 1mm, but this sharp precision is of concern as it can cause readings to be less smooth than desired.  The technology is still in its infancy, and improvements are on the way via software developers, but as it stands, the Leap Motion Controller certainly offers something to look forward to as an out-of-home marketing must-have waiting to happen.

United Arrows Mannequins Make Customers Dance

Microsoft’s Kinect technology made another appearance in creative out-of-home displays as airport clothing store United Arrows debuted its new front window display in Tokyo featuring United Arrows-clad MarionetteBots (half mannequin, half robot) that mimic the movements of passerby.  The inclusion of marionette strings gives some charm to the mannequins’ somewhat clumsy movements, and the engagement factor is certainly high.  Kinect technology has been enticing brands for some time, and more creative uses of it like this are certainly on the horizon.