Microsoft Kinect: Inexpensive Big Data Tool

Global shipping giant DHL discovers that motion sensors used by Microsoft’s Kinect are great for scanning pallets — and relatively cheap to buy.

Consumer-oriented technology — specifically smartphones, tablets, and Dropbox-style cloud services — has invaded the enterprise. But, can it also spur development of big-data platforms? Perhaps, if the cost and usability of consumer tech trumps traditional solutions.

DHL, for instance, is using Microsoft Kinect sensors to scan pallets, allowing it to determine optimal packing sequences and volume-based shipping prices. That’s according to Dr. Marcus Kückelhaus, director of research and development for DHL’s Solutions & Innovation team, which studies and applies new technologies to DHL’s massive operations involving nearly 500,000 employees in 220 countries. … (Read more)