Microsoft has shipped Kinect for Windows, widening the appeal of its motion sensor technology beyond gamers to big business, with American Express among the firms already developing applications.
Since launching Kinect for its Xbox 360 console a year ago, Microsoft has sold over 18 million sensors but by bringing the technology to PCs the company hopes to broaden the range of its applications.
It has now made version one of the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) and runtime available for download and started shipping hardware in 12 countries, with a suggested retail price of $249.
Microsoft says that more than 300 companies from 25 countries are already working on ways of using the technology, including American Express, Mattel, Telefonica, and Toyota.
How American Express plans to tap Kinect has not been revealed but there have been some attempts to use the technology for financial services already. Lithuanian company Etronika demonstrated a beta version of an application using Kinect as an interface to on-screen consumer banking applications at last year's CTIA wireless show, while BI consultancy Project Brokers tied the Xbox to an expense management system.