In the future, people sitting next to you on the couch with their Windows Phone 7 device will be able to jump in on a game you're playing on the Kinect.
The technology preview, which runs less than a minute in length, shows off a male player going up against the computer in Rally Ball, a mini-game included in the Kinect Adventures title that ships with Microsoft's Kinect unit. In it, he's joined by a female companion who fires up an app on her Windows Phone 7 device to take over as his opponent.
Microsoft takes the demo one step further, adding a second player on the Windows Phone 7 device, who is also able to fire out a barrage of virtual rubber balls. Falling in defeat, they all share a laugh and the demo ends.
One interesting prospect this introduces is that Microsoft may have found a way to dramatically increase the number of players who can partake in Kinect games, which could be especially useful for people with small living rooms. The Kinect requires a certain amount of play space, which can be especially hard to come by when there are two players, something that for Kinect Adventures and other two-player games require several additional feet of depth to make work well.
Have a look at the video for yourself below, just keep in mind this does not necessarily mean the functionality will be added to the current version of Rally Ball:
Update at 2:10 p.m. PT: In case you were getting your hopes up that this feature would arrive this year, we've been told that's not the case. In an interview with CNET earlier today, Greg Sullivan senior product manager for Windows Phone 7, said:
"That's not a product announcement or end-of-year feature. That is real code, something we're able to accomplish in the labs, but not a 2011 deliverable thing. We've got big ideas how we can tie these things together."
Of course that doesn't rule out seeing more of this functionality--as well as some ways developers can build ties between the two platforms into their games and applications--unveiled at this year's E3, or another games show.