Microsoft’s Project Natal, the gesture-recognition technology shown off at E3, is now coming to the office to boost productivity. In a demonstration to CNET, Microsoft showed off a futuristic desktop solution that transforms the entire office into a collection of displays and input devices.
The hardware is in the later stages of development, but it remains to be seen what applications will be most efficient in this gesture control environment. The massive displays allow for multiple work spaces, like notes or photos, but we wonder how such a complex control center will work in the everyday office. The potential for the technology is truly impressive and the demonstration included a 3D architectural demo that allows a designer to fully navigate their creations before it’s built. Bill Gates recently discussed the gesture recognition developments in an interview with CNET News,
The part of Microsoft I stay up to date the most on is probably the research group. I was over at the Cambridge lab a few weeks ago, over at the India lab as part of a trip I take this month, and that’s really the sort of crown jewel in terms of always feeding neat new things into Microsoft. I’d say a cool example of that, that you’ll see is kind of stunning, in a little over a year, is this (depth-sensing) camera thing… Not just for games, but for media consumption as a whole… If they connect it up to Windows PCs for interacting in terms of meetings, and collaboration, and communication, you put the camera in now it’s a cool thing, and it’s just an example where Microsoft research did the original stuff to show, with the depth information, something great could be done. Then 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.