Microsoft Kinect

Microsoft Kinect: The 2012 Peripheral of the Year? Hardly

It was recently brought to my attention that the Microsoft Kinect won the Engadget Reader’s Choice Award for Best Peripheral of 2012. What? Why? What could possibly have been the reason for the Engadget readers to give 42% of the vote to the Kinect? Let’s take a step back and examine the list of peripherals Engadget readers voted on:

Belkin WeMo
This little device serves as a middleman of sorts between your outlet and whatever device you plug into it, allowing you to control whether or not power is supplied to said device via your phone. Can’t remember if you left your curling iron on? Just turn it off with your phone.

Logitech G710 Plus
Another fancy Logitech keyboard with backlit, quiet keys and 6 extra programmable keys for custom input actions. Great for Starcraft players who want to bind specific micro actions to a key.

Mionix Naos 8200
This looks like one spiffy gaming mouse. Seven programmable buttons, six LEDs that can output four different colors. Hell, it can even change its lighting effects, which I feel is definitely more innovative than a similar mouse that isn’t lit with LEDs. Just kidding.

Nest Thermostat
If you’ve ever wanted your house to be controlled by Skynet, this is your chance. It’s a thermostat that learns every time you change the temperature, so it knows how to change the temperature for when you leave the house and when you go to bed. It’s like Santa figured out how to control the climate.

Courtesy of

Pebble Smartwatch
Take your iPhone, shrink it like Rick Moranis, and let it do primarily clock things. That’s the Pebble Smartwatch. I can also read the texts you get from your phone, but you need the phone to send apps to it in the first place, and I’m sure you already have your phone on you. A plus side, though, is that you can expect it to be a hell of a lot cheaper than an iWatch.

Razer DeathAdder
It’s another gaming mouse, but it doesn’t have the changing LEDs that the Naos has. It does, however, have a 1 millisecond response time, so I guess that’s better than a 2 millisecond response time by an unnoticeable margin.

Razer Naga Hex
This makes three gaming mice. I mean, at least the thermostat and the outlet plug were inventive. This mouse in particular was specially designed for use with MOBA and action-RPG games in mind, boasting 6 programmable buttons to use during those intense League of Legends swear-fests.

The fact of the matter is that there exists a large variety of peripherals more interesting and innovative than the Microsoft Kinect that were actually released in 2012. So why exactly did an over-glorified Wii Sensor Bar with shoddy voice recognition from 2010 win the 2012 Peripheral of the Year Award over some really cool and inventive stuff? Were there too many biased 360 junkies voting who don’t understand energy efficiency? I never was a fan of the Kinect, but maybe that’s why I don’t understand how it won the Reader’s Choice Award. I know I’m not the only one offended by Microsoft’s attempt at motion control. Even our editor Ron said “[The Kinect] does not deserve that award. It did nothing in 2012 except ruin Star Wars.” I can’t say that I disagree.


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