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Intel punts Kinect-like tech at businesses

Intel is attempting to bring a similar technology to Microsoft's Kinect to market - but it's aiming for the world of business, rather than gaming. We take a look at the company's latest digital signage concept, on display at the Nangang Exhibition Centre as part of the company's Computex 2011 offering.

Microsoft's Kinect remains a somewhat unproven technology. While there's no denying that the technology works, given enough room for the sensors to see your body, its use as a gaming controller is currently limited to casual games and dancing simulators. Intel, however, has another idea for the technology: interactive advertising.

A prototype creation on display at the company's Computex stand demonstrates the concept: a sensor tracks the user and allows him or her to control what's displayed on the screen. A list of products, for example, can be scrolled through - while individual products can be brought up in greater detail by a simple hover action.

The proof-of-concept prototype features mobile integration, communicating directly with a user's smartphone to download product information. For the retailer, there's an impressive array of audience impression metrics on offer - and the sheer novelty of the device almost guarantees that users will stop and stare, making them perfect targets for advertising.

The shelves built in to the side of the unit aren't just for show, either: with RFID tags embedded in each product and a reader in each shelf, the sign is able to 'see' what product has been picked up and display more information - or special offers - automatically. Thanks to the RFID technology, this even works if a naughty customer starts shuffling products around.

Sadly, the device remains a proof of concept. An Intel spokesperson confirmed that the company has no plans to produce a commercial version, instead leaving it up to its various partners around the world to take the concept and run with it.

If nothing else, it seems a better concept than Keeley Lake.