Remember when Windows was considered cool? It’s been a long time. Nevertheless, the Kinect – a motion and voice-sensing device initially meant as a clever feature for the Xbox gaming console – may help Windows regain its long-lost coolness quotient.

Microsoft in February released Kinect for Windows. This version of the device works with, of course, Windows-operated pcs. Now a number of users are putting the device to work in surprising ways.

Innovative Uses for the Kinect

Earlier this year the Chief Marketing Manager for Nissan North America created a virtual tour of the Pathfinder’s interior at the Chicago Auto Show. The only thing that was physically presented was the outer shell of the Pathfinder, but individuals could see the up-graded interior on a large screen by using the Kinect.

Microsoft is working with companies to create applications for the Kinect. This not only supports creativity but it puts the Kinect at the center of some of the most recent innovations. An example of a company that is working closely with Microsoft in this way is Boeing. Boeing used the Kinect to create virtual tours of its jets. Another example is a healthcare facility in Canada. They are using the Kinect’s gesture-recognition capability to swipe through CT scans. This removes the danger of getting germs on their hands from a keyboard or mouse.

Kinect: A Solid Hit

The Kinect has been a hit for Microsoft. Last year the device helped turn the Xbox 360 into the year’s best-selling computer game console. The fact is, Microsoft has sold over 18 million Kinect devices since November of 2010. It makes sense then, that a version created especially for Windows would be a hit, too.

The excitement surrounding the Kinect and its many uses can only help improve Microsoft’s reputation. They may be on their way to entering into the “cool” tech company category.