Microsoft announced Tuesday it will bring interactive ads to Xbox360 consoles using the voice and gesture recognizing capabilities of Kinect controllers.
At the Cannes International Advertising Festival, Microsoft introduced NUads, which transforms traditional, linear TV advertising into an interactive experience by using the voice-and gesture-control of Kinect for Xbox 360.
Mark Kroese, General Manager of Microsoft's Advertising Business Group, said that "NUads unties the Gordian knot of interactive television, and by extension, interactive advertising."
In late 2010, Microsoft delivered Kinect. For the first time, audiences could interact with the largest screen in the home, from ten feet away, through natural voice and gesture. Audiences began to engage in an active, two-way, dialogue with the content on their TV, sans remote.
The Kinect sensor brought NUI to the TV, and built the foundation for another much-anticipated leap forward: interactive television. Advertisers and audiences have been ready for some time, but the underlying platform has not existed.
Micrsosoft demonstrated five NUads formats. The demo included the following scenarios of ads that could be placed across the Xbox LIVE experience:
Social advocacy. A simple voice command such as "Xbox Tweet" gives the consumer the ability to share something about a brand with their friends.
Request for information (RFI): Say "Xbox More," and you can request additional information and/or a discount coupon to be sent directly to your email inbox.
Near me: Say "Xbox Near Me" to locate a retailer near you, and receive a text message with the location.
Schedule an event: "Xbox Schedule" sends you a calendar reminder about an upcoming show.
Vote for your favorite: With just a wave of a hand, audiences can easily convey their preferences. For example, while watching a trailer for the Green Lantern movie, there would be a prompt asking: "which is your favorite villain?" or "Do you have plans to go see this movie?" Read time voting and audience feedback has finally come to the TV.
Microsoft has already ramped up voice capabilities in Kinect to allow Xbox users not only to give commands to in-game characters but also to speak Bing searches for games, movies, television shows, music and other entertainment content.
The company has sold more than 10 million of the gesture-sensing Kinect accessories for the Xbox 360 worldwide since they hit the market in November.
Kinect uses a 3D camera and motion recognition software to let people play videogames on the Xbox 360 using natural body movements and voice commands instead of hand-held controllers.