Microsoft has announced plans to bring interactive ads to Xbox 360 consoles using the voice and gesture-recognizing capabilities of Kinect. Speaking at the Cannes International Advertising Festival, Microsoft's General Manager for the Advertising Business Group Mark Kroese unveiled Kinect NUads, and demonstrated five voice commands on Xbox Live that advertisers will be able to use when the new feature launches in the spring of 2012.
Thankfully, Microsoft is keeping the annoyance factor to a minimum and it's not like you're being forced to interact with an ad before it goes away. Possible uses go from being able to tweet something about a commercial being played using a voice command, to scheduling a calendar reminder about an upcoming show, or saying "Xbox more" to receive an email with more information about a specific product that might have caught your attention. Likewise, saying "Xbox Near Me" will trigger a text message with a link to a map showing the nearest retailer carrying a certain product.
Of course, there's no reason why you couldn't do the same things using a standard controller, but Microsoft believes that by making these activities as natural and effortless as possible, users will be more likely to interact with ads.
The idea is to bring the same level of interactivity that consoles and other devices provide over to the TV, which Microsoft can exploit now that the Xbox 360 is getting live television streaming in the U.S. as part of an upcoming update this fall. Check out the video above for a demonstration of NUads in action.