November 4th 2010 was the date when a little black and glossy device started to enter homes around the country and the world – a lot of homes.

Steve Clayton, who blogs for Microsoft at the Next at Microsoft site, shared this reflection on Kinect’s release anniversary:

I remember seeing lines outside of our company store here in Redmond with Kinect sensors piled high behind the glass. A few hours later, Twitter and Facebook lit up with people recounting their first Kinect experiences. And in the days following, many of the blogs and Twitter handles I track started to light up with something else – ideas for creative new ways to use Kinect. Each day I’d wake up to an incredible new idea someone had dreamed of for Kinect – and what’s more, people were actually building what they’d dreamed of. Initially they were created with drivers from the community of hobbyists and then with the non-commercial software development kit we released.

It was the release of the non-commercial software development kit that really started to see the true potential of Kinect be exposed by creative minds around the world and that work ranges from the fun to the serious.  It was that desire to put Kinect to uses in serious ways that has prompted Microsoft to get ready to release a commercial software development kit for the device.

All of this is just the beginning though. The enthusiasm from hobbyists was mirrored by the commercial world. Businesses around the world and across industries, like healthcare, education, automotive, retail and more, began contacting us with ideas for ways they wanted to transform their industry with Kinect. That’s why beginning early next year, we’ll release theKinect for Windows commercial program, allowing businesses to realize these dreams. We’re already working with over 200 applicants on our pilot program, including Toyota, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Razorfish and more than 25 Fortune 500 companies. Head to the Kinect Effect site, launched today to find out more.

That new site, Kinect Effect, shows some of those applications that are being used to help people in so many different ways.

Included on the site is an inspiring video about what the future may hold for the Kinect device and its applications.  That is where the goose bumps come in:

How can you not be moved on the potential this device has to help people in difficult and challenging situations. Great video – period.

The truly hands free device has seen impressive growth in this first year and Microsoft captures this success in the following infographic:


As you can see its reach really has become global and with over 10 million units sold as of this past March it is the fastest selling gadget ever according to the Guinness Book of World Records.