Update: This post originally didn't mention that it was Techie-Buzz.com that originally broke this story. Our apologies!
Microsoft spent E3 basically rubbing the Kinect in everybody's faces. The future of gaming lies in voice control and real-time head tracking, Microsoft proclaimed from its keynote pulpit. Bing Search! Kinect Labs! Bossing your squadmates around in Mass Effect 3! We were starting to think that the goliath from Redmond actually wanted to push gaming into the future.
Then a US trademark filing brought us back to reality. It's not about the future – it's about the cash.
In the midst of all the E3 fun last week, Manan at Techie-Buzz.com discovered that Microsoft had filed for a trademark for a new technology called "NUADs." What the heck is NUADs? We're glad you asked. "Advertising services, namely, promoting and marketing the goods and services of others through online interactive video games by enabling consumers to interact with third-party advertising content through voice or body gestures via computer game console and sensor devices."
Basically, it seems like Microsoft plans on selling ads – presumably over Xbox Live – and letting Kinect users purchase the goods simply by pointing at the television or saying "Xbox, buy Ford Focus." Or perhaps they plan on letting users play with and alter the ads in some way? Who knows. In any case, we hope this doesn't signal a new era of hyper-intrusive advertisements flooding the Live Marketplace – those annoying banner ads enticing us to "Catch the monkey to win BIG!" are already on our list of top ten things wrong with the Internet.