Microsoft Confirms Motion Controller Project Natal at E3 Expo
Microsoft has recently announced “Project Natal” that will offer motion controller for Xbox 360. At its annual press briefing at the E3 Expo Microsoft finally confirms the rumored motion controller that allows an astoundingly wide range of actions by utilizing a group of sensors. What makes it better is the ability of juggling multiple users during a single session.
To track gamers movements in 3D space “Natal” combines an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone and custom processor all in one compact bar. It recognizes you by looking at your face and is capable to respond to verbal commands as well. â€œProject Natalâ€ tracks your full body movement in 3-D, while responding to commands, directions and even a shift of emotion in your voice.
â€œThe next step in interactive entertainment is to make the controller disappear,â€ said Steven Spielberg, visionary director and producer. â€œWith â€˜Project Natal,â€™ weâ€™ll see games that bring everyone together through technology that actually recognizes us.â€
They have also released a video that actually shows how the game system could be used to control games such as skateboarding and action games. The aim is to get more people to play games who would otherwise be intimidated by a traditional game controller with tons of buttons
Just check out this video below and you won’t believe what you are about to witness.
Microsoft says that the project stills needs a lot of work and attending. It won’t be released during 2009.
Assuming this peripheral really works as advertised (the motion trackers actually track accurately, unlike some of the early products in the field) AND it’s relatively straightforward to code for Natal (well, when you’re dealing with tracking 3d motion, how straightforward can it be), I could see this being one of the life-changing pieces of tech we see in our lifetime. Not because of the first generation, but because of what it means for interfacing with our technology. For example, if I could work on the computer with just a Natal controller, I would no longer need a mouse and keyboard shortcuts would be obsolete.
Still, there are some who suggest this technology threatens to turn a generation that’s already indoors almost their entire lives into molemen. I don’t think it will have much effect there, honestly, since technology only has as much control over us as we let it have. But if you want to see some of the concerns people have, I recommend Newsy.com’s recent video about it. Though they don’t get into a lot of the techy details, they do a pretty good job (I thought) of laying out the opinions people have about it.