With the expansion of Microsoft’s Kinect to Windows, the sensor is expected to start showing up first in commercial situations, such as retail stores and showrooms.

At the Consumer Electronics Show last week, the company demonstrated a virtual dressing room application by its partner, FaceCake, as part of a section of Microsoft’s CES booth providing a glimpse of the company’s design principles an plans for the future.

Microsoft’s Steve Clayton gave me a demo in the video below.


Turns out that’s just one piece of the picture.

This week at the National Retail Federation conference in New York, the company’s Windows Embedded team is showing how a similar type of technology could fit into a more comprehensive system that includes not only Kinect but also the Microsoft Surface computer, commercial tablets, Windows Phone, Microsoft Dynamics and back-end business-intelligence applications for retailers.

One of the features of the prototype system is an extra camera that gathers data about the person’s gender, height or age and uses that to customize the experience. By scanning a Microsoft Tag, the customer can transfer content to a phone, and then interact with it later on one of the Microsoft Surface machines.

Companies working with Microsoft on the project include Razorfish, IdentityMine and business-intelligence company Extended Results.

Here’s the Microsoft video explaining the technology. The demos start at the 1:20 mark.

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