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June 22, 2011 at 7:48 AM

TV ads get interactive with Xbox Kinect voice commands

xbox tweet nuads.jpgTelevision ads will get voice controls with Xbox Kinect, Microsoft said this week at the Cannes Lions advertising festival in France.

Using the Xbox Kinect, advertisers can add voice and motion commands for viewers to interact with the ad. Microsoft is calling it NUads. The “NU” stands for “natural user.” Here are some examples Microsoft showed:

Twitter. During a commercial, a prompt would show up at the bottom of the screen asking if the viewer wants to tweet about the ad campaign. The viewer could tweet by saying “Xbox Tweet” and use a hand motion to post the message.

Find a nearby store. A prompt would show up at the bottom of the screen asking if the viewer wants to find nearby stores, for example, dealerships that sell a car being shown. The viewer could say “Xbox Near Me,” a map with dealership locations would show up on screen and the viewer could use hand motions to text or email the address to themselves.

Microsoft also showed voice prompts for viewers to request more information about a product, to vote in a campaign or to send a reminder to a mobile phone to watch a show when it airs.

Mark Kroese, a general manager at Microsoft, said in a Tuesday company blog post, “…In this case of NUads and Kinect, I’m here to say that it will change television as we know it — forever. I say this because NUads — specifically the Kinect voice and gesture technology that enables them — finally unties the Gordian knot of interactive television, and by extension, interactive advertising.”

It’s still missing the main ingredient — “Xbox Buy” — but it’s possible that function is in the works.

Here is a Microsoft video showing how the technology works.

[do action=”custom_iframe” width=”560″ height=”349″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/RSk5DhxQHLo

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