It is essential for retailers to find ways to attract and connect with customers—and to stand out from the competition. To help them do so, the industry is grappling with how to build interactive experiences at scale that engage and truly help customers make satisfying purchasing decisions while also using retail space strategically to provide the best possible experience.

To get a deeper understanding of what this means, we did extensive first-hand research with dozens of retailers and big brands . We learned how retailers think about implementing natural user interface technology (NUI) and how they see these experiences helping propel their businesses forward.

What we heard:

  • NUI offers one of the best ways to interact with large screens in stores.
  • Exploring virtual merchandise by gesturing naturally is easy, engaging, and fun for customers.
  • Immersive experiences can improve the purchase process and are an impactful way to market and sell to customers.

We agree. And we believe it’s important for us to bring these findings back into Kinect for Windows by delivering features that facilitate the best retail innovations. To help support this, we recently released an update to our SDK (Kinect for Windows SDK 1.8) that includes new features specifically designed to enable the development of higher-quality digital signage applications. Key features include the ability to remove backgrounds, an adaptive UI sample, and an HTML interaction sample.

To help illustrate what this all means, our team developed the following three videos. They show how Kinect for Windows experiences can help retailers attract new customers and engage customers in deeper ways. They offer examples of ways that digital signs powered by Kinect for Windows can draw customers into the business—making it possible for retailers to share offerings, cross-sell and upsell merchandise, bring the “endless aisle” concept to life, and, ultimately, inspire shoppers to purchase. And all of this is accomplished in a beautiful way that feels natural to the customer.


This enjoyable and easy-to-use application engages new customers by helping them understand and experience the resort, while also providing them with an offer to receive a discount on future stays.



This digital sign application is powered by Kinect for Windows and makes it easy for shoppers to engage with products, try them on, and purchase them. It also incorporates social media for additional marketing reach.



This last video demonstrates the ability to welcome a person or people into an immersive real-time experience with the store’s merchandise. It demonstrates the Kinect Fusion scanning features that can be used as part of this and many other retail experiences.


These videos highlight some of the core benefits retailers tell us Kinect for Windows offers them:

  • Capture a customer's attention
  • Educate customers about products
  • Move a customer through the decision-making cycle to close a sale

Kinect for Windows does this by optimizing interactions with existing large screens and enhancing the overall retail space—using gesture and voice control, background removal, proximity-based interface, and more.

So many companies have already created exciting retail experiences with Kinect for Windows: Bloomingdales, Build-a-Bear, Coca-Cola, Mattel, Nissan, Pepsi, and others. We are excited to see the new ways that Kinect for Windows is being applied in retail. The dramatic shifts in consumer shopping behaviors, preferences, and expectations in retail today are driving innovation to new levels. The possibilities are endless when we use the latest technology to put the customer at the heart of the business.

Kinect for Windows Team

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