When Microsoft expanded its Kinect sensor to Windows and made a software development kit available for commercial applications, we wondered when we’d see the technology start to trickle out into the business world. Well, here we go.

Sixteen Nissan dealerships will pilot a Kinect application that lets car buyers experience a virtual version of the 2013 Pathfinder, before the vehicle makes it to the showroom. The automaker announced the rollout today.

We experienced an earlier version of Nissan’s Kinect app at a Microsoft Research event, and it’s pretty slick — letting users move their arms, hands and bodies to check out pretty much every aspect of the Pathfinder — exterior and interior — almost as if the real thing were in front of them. The Microsoft video above gives a sense for the experience.

Nissan partnered with Critical Mass and IdentityMine to create the app. The automaker is thinking about taking the Kinect experience to all of its dealerships (numbering more than 1,000 in the U.S.) if the pilot is a success.

See the bottom of this news release for the list of dealerships involved in the pilot. (None are in Washington state; the closest is just outside of Portland, Ore.)

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Comments

  • guest

    Interesting application of the technology. Still surprised that MS didn’t leverage Kinect more specifically in W8.

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Very true, it feels like a missed opportunity.

  • Chuck

    This looks great, but seems misplaced to have at a dealership where you could just go sit in the real car.

    • guest

      “…pilot a Kinect application that lets car buyers experience a virtual version of the 2013 Pathfinder, before the vehicle makes it to the showroom”

      • Chuck

        That’s what i get for watching the video without the sound on.

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