Microsoft (MSFT) will still have to prove that its futuristic gesture-motion-control system for the Xbox 360, “Project Natal,” isn’t vaporware.
But once that’s proven, expect that kind of tech to come to Windows PCs, too, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates tells CNET.
CNET: Speaking about all of the technology Microsoft has cooking in its labs, Gates said: “I’d say a cool example of that, that you’ll see… in a little over a year, is this (depth) camera thing.” Gates said it was not just for games, “but for media consumption as a whole, and even if they connect it up to Windows PCs for interacting in terms of meetings, and collaboration, and communication.”
Gates said it is an example where the project started in Microsoft research but is now being commercialized by both the Xbox and Windows units. “Both the Xbox guys and the Windows guys latched onto that and now even since they latched onto it the idea of how it can be used in the office is getting much more concrete, and is pretty exciting.”
It makes sense that gesture-based user interfaces, which have gained popularity via Nintendo’s Wii and Apple’s iPhone, would come to the PC sooner than later.
But we’re sceptical on how useful that’ll be at first: Whether the devices are precise enough to be functional, and how much software will support the gesture-based controls at first.
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