Kinect for Xbox 360 was launched in November, 2010; and in the few short months since, it has been named the fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history by Guinness World Records. The device has opened the door to build new experiences with technology, thereby capturing the hearts and minds of creators and users alike. Kinect’s immediate success has continued its rapid momentum with some exciting new developments.

Last week, we announced that Hulu Plus is now available on Xbox 360 LIVE to Xbox LIVE Gold members in the U.S. Users will have the ability to play, pause, fast forward and rewind thousands of TV shows and movies with Kinect. This announcement comes as part of Microsoft’s continuing investment in natural user interfaces (NUI), where technology is becoming more natural to use and is transforming our relationship with computers. NUI opens enormous opportunities that span everything from delivering new personal entertainment experiences to addressing societal challenges in the fields of healthcare and education.

NUI is the driving force behind Microsoft Research’s upcoming release of a non-commercial Kinect for the Windows software development kit, which encourages the freedom to create amazing experiences. We are in a world where technology is becoming invisible, made possible by combining sensory inputs (touch and voice) with the technology’s recognition of what you’re trying to do (contextual awareness), where you are and what is around you (environmental awareness); 3D simulation; anticipatory learning; and more. Through advancements like Kinect, this transparency is made possible. Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie has referred to Kinect as the next big incarnation in computing, where technology understands us, so we don’t have to understand it.

We all will get a kick out of the Kinect for Windows SDK when it’s delivered later this spring! For more updates and information on the Kinect for Windows SDK, check out the Microsoft Research website. Learn more about the Kinect for Xbox 360 and join the excitement by picking up your very own Kinect today at the Mission Viejo or Costa Mesa Microsoft retail store locations.