Microsoft and Anheuser-Busch used the Kinect for Windows to serve beer to patrons outside the stadium for Super Bowl XLIX in the “House of Whatever.” When someone approaches the bar, the Kinect sensor brings up a selection of Anheuser-Busch beers for them to choose from (most of the beers would already be prepared on the bar). When a person would pick a drink from the bar, the Kinect would offer the chance to say “cheers,” and if the person raised the beer and said “cheers,” the Kinect would take a picture that the person could download later.
The Kinect would also correctly identify the beer that the person selected, and display a pie chart with the most popular beers of the day. Microsoft built the Kinect-enabled system, supplemented by facial-recognition technology by NEC, to test out the potential for using it in interactive retail situations. The Kinect-enabled system can also recognize individual customers through facial recognition for retail loyalty programs, as well as displaying targeted advertisements.
While the Kinect-enabled system is interesting and has a great value in the retail industry, it may be hard for people to want to give up their right to privacy by being identified through facial recognition in public places. While I like using the Kinect when I play Xbox One to turn on and off my console as well as with Skype calls, I wouldn’t want to be recognized in a store just to get 10% off a Xbox One game. The whole experience might make me never go that store ever again. It is one thing if a person remembers you, but it gets a bit creepier when a computer recognizes you. So, for now, this Kinect-based system may need to be just a concept.