This week, Microsoft will be launching the Kinect add on for the Xbox - I won't go into detail on how it works as I suspect we will be bombarding everyone with adverts over the next couple of weeks. Suffice to say it's a really cool piece of hardware that allows you to interact with your xbox without any use of a controller. A lot of people, on seeing it for the first time, like the idea of voice and gesture control of what is a complex piece of multimedia hardware as much as the games themselves. A measure of how smart the hardware actually is indicated by the fact the first one cost $30,000 to build - it is not just a big webcam! The thing for me though is it is as much a statement of general intent as a clever piece of kit. If there's one thing that's becoming increasingly clear, it's that the Mouse and Keyboard can no longer be relied upon as the primary UI for consumer applications - this is a demonstration of a '10 foot UI' (something you are controlling from a short distance away) and at the other end of the spectrum, the current wave of smartphones are demonstrating different approaches to 'micro UIs'. As the hardware we use in the workplace (tablets, phones, tills, laptops) is increasingly affected by consumerisation, these alternative UIs are rapidly becoming more important, and may soon be pervasive. Microsoft is absolutely moving forward on the assumption that we need to support all of these methods of interaction in whatever winds up being the 'presentation device'; Windows 7 already has native support for Multitouch, and the Office 2019 Vision video (http://www.officelabs.com/projects/productivityfuturevision/Pages/default.aspx) clearly shows there's a good chance Kinect technology is going to wind up in the enterprise sooner rather than later. I'd expect an explosion of applications for this new way of delivering apps over the next 24 months, and Microsoft is absolutely in prime position to support whatever winds up 'winning'. An example of how this may play out in the retail space is interactive signage - a shop window display that actually interacts with the consumers, and knows when someone has stopped to look at it could be a very valuable tool - imagine  customers watching demos, looking up specifications and checking stock while walking past a closed store. Kinect is a smart new tool - but it's only the tip of the iceberg...