Those who haven't had fun with a Wii yet, thinking them too kiddie, won't have to fork out for a new Xbox as the motion sensing technology will soon be on your desktop or TV
Israeli technology company PrimeSense, the wizards that made the Kinect (formerly known as Project Natal) motion sensing, controller-less device, for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, is licensing the core technology to PC and TV makers. That could mean a combination of remote-less remote control, contactless interaction and good-old gaming fun for the rest of us.
While the Nintendo Wii has been considered a kids of family toy for years, the fact that all the console are adopting some sort of motion-based interaction (Sony also Nintendo-like Move controllers for its PlayStation 3at the recent e3 video games tradeshow), means there will soon be a wider acceptance of movement or motion-based control in the home.
Will stereoscopic cameras bring magic into your home entertainment?
The technology will make its way into home cinema systems, cable set-top boxes and PCs, opening up new ways of interacting with your TV beyond the humble, and rather limited, remote. PrimeSense's 3D camera gadget detects motion, distance and depth, allowing you to point at or interact with objects on screen using your hands or body.
So, its not too hard on the imagination to see people flicking their way though photo albums through the TV screen, kind of like you do on an iPhone, but from the sofa. Or playing simple health and fitness games which will help the TV makers shed their couch-potato causing image. Movie buffs could skim Minority Report-style through Blu-ray menus and interactive extra features, rather than slogging up-down-left-right using the usual remote.
Taking TV, cable and DVD interfaces into the future? (C) Twentieth Century Fox
The possibilities are certainly entertaining, it just depends how much penetration the technology makes into the market, and then into homes. Also, it depends just how far the makers a prepared to go in pushing the level of interaction. The Xbox version is likely to cost around US$150, which is a lot to add to the price of a TV.
Still, if it does take off, the future will be a little nearer, and it would solve the long-standing problems of having to find the remote or dig out new batteries when it dies, if all you have to use if your hand.