Microsoft’s got more ideas in store for Kinect, the motion-sensing Xbox 360 camera that launched last fall. This week, the company announced a lofty goal to create interactive advertising powered by voice and gestures.
Microsoft is calling them “NuAds,” and has walked through a few examples on the Microsoft Advertising blog. During an ad for Coke, for example, the user can say “Xbox Tweet” to share the ad on Twitter. An ad for Toyota might allow the user to say “Xbox Near Me” and find nearby dealerships, and an ad for another TV broadcast might let the user schedule a calendar reminder by saying “Xbox Schedule.”
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who feels queasy at the sight of more intrusive ads in the name of “audience engagement” and “social advocacy,” but there is a silver lining here: If this is what helps Microsoft lure advertisers — and by extension content providers — to Internet television, then it’s all good.
During E3, Microsoft announced that it wants the Xbox 360 to host live, streaming television, including sports, news and local channels. But only one partnership was announced, with mixed martial arts company UFC, suggesting that many content providers aren’t so eager to experiment with a potential cable killer.
But with Kinect, Microsoft can convince advertisers that they’ll get more for their money on the Xbox 360. Where the advertising money goes, I’m guessing the content will follow. With over 10 million Kinect units sold to date, Microsoft might be onto something.
Getting people to post about a Coke ad on Twitter might be a stretch, though.