At E3 2009, Microsoft unveiled Project Natal, the code name for a new 3-D camera and mic peripheral. The company showed off various tech demos using the device. Notably, the controller was used to paint by using hand gestures and voice commands. In a second demo created by Lionhead Studios, Peter Molyneux demonstrated the camera's use by playing back a video that showed a woman interacting with an onscreen character named Milo by talking to him and using motion-based gestures.
During the demos, the peripheral was used to capture images, control onscreen avatars, and interact with onscreen environments.
The device seems to use dual cameras to detect motion in three dimensions. A built-in mic detects sounds and records audio for interpretation by games that will use it. Outside of that, little else is known about the specifications of the product in terms of connectivity and even the resolution of the cameras.
Earlier this year, Microsoft completed the acquisition of 3DV Systems, a small startup dedicated to 3D imaging technology. In addition to gaming applications, the company's systems have been used in advanced defense systems. The company demonstrated its ZCam at
Microsoft didn't reveal the final product name for Project Natal, the pricing, or an arrival date.
Check out the Project Natal Hands-Off Controller Official Trailer.