One of the more eye-opening demos at Convergence 2012 in Houston a few months back was the use of Microsoft Kinect with Dynamics GP. While Kinect is more associated with consumer electronics, Microsoft has been signaling that this sophisticated gesture-reading hardware and software has serious business applications.
In case you’ve been completely focused on business technology, Kinect is a peripheral for Microsoft Xbox gaming that bathes a room in infra-red beams and reads the reflections–ask your kids to see the applications. In recent years, developers have been tweaking the Kinect APIs so that it can detect gesturing for presentations. In other words, raising or lowering your hand triggers a scrolling action, and a wave causes the screen to pan in or out.
The response to this Dynamics-Kinect app at Convergence was so strong that afterwards Microsoft released a YouTube video showing a prototype based around Business Analyzer.
No one is suggesting there’ll be Kinects on everyone’s desk in Accounting or Finance – though the cost is under $200 – it’s clear that Microsoft sees an opportunity for its disruptive gesturing and speech recognition technology in boardrooms or for executive level presentations.
Business Analyzer is well suited for non-technical executives since no knowledge of SQL is required to set up the reports. The Microsoft demo video gives a flavor of this completely intuitive approach to conducting presentations. You see how easy it is to walk a group through a series of Business Analyzer bar charts, graphs, and reports without awkward trips back to a laptop or grappling with the remote for the projector.
And there’s more. As we’ve talked about before, Business Analyzer hooks up with Microsoft Lync, the real-time collaboration tool for both IM and voice connections.
In the Microsoft prototype app, Lync, Dynamics GP Business Analyzer, and Kinect are all coupled together. It gives a strong indication of how Microsoft views business meetings being conducted in the near future.