Microsoft’s Next Big Hit: Kinect For Sound?

by Trefis Team
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Trefis
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Microsoft
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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) invests a significant amount of money in research and development, trying to invent the next big technology and productizing it or registering patents for them and licensing them to others. The Microsoft Surface and Kinect for Xbox are two such inventions by it. While the Surface has failed to gain any significant traction, Kinect has been a massive hit and generated billions of dollars in revenue for Microsoft.

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Microsoft’s newest pet project – SoundWave – could potentially turn out to be its next Kinect. Microsoft Research recently unveiled a cool new technology which enables users to control the software on their computers using the movement of their hands. While Kinect detects motion gestures using cameras, SoundWave picks up motion using sound. [1]

It emits an inaudible tone from your computer speakers which is interrupted when you move your hands, and the disturbance is picked up by the microphones. It may still not be ready for public use, but Microsoft could eventually refine it to the point where it could be used in every PC or notebook with Windows, enabling motion gestures without the need for any additional hardware.

It could be turn out to be Microsoft’s next Kinect and add significant value to its Entertainment and Devices division, which currently accounts for around 4% of its total value. We currently have a $40 Trefis price estimate for Microsoft, which stands nearly 25% above its market price. Microsoft competes primarily with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Sony in the consumer electronics space.

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Notes:
  1. Microsoft SoundWave: It’s like Kinect, but skips the cameras, CNET []
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