Nintendo certainly created a stir when it introduced motion-sensing controls to the video game industry, but subsequent developments that are no more than a year or two from fruition are already threatening to confine this relatively new technology to the proverbial scrap-heap. The latest of these is PrimeSense, the winner of CableLabs’ Innovation Showcase and ‘best new product’ at the event. On paper at least, PrimeSense appears to be versatile and innovative enough to have widespread impact on the way we interact with modern technology.
The product is essentially a 3D camera that allows devices like televisions to ‘see a view of the surrounding area’ by scanning a room to determine who is present through a combination of shape recognition and thermal imaging. Among other things, this would allow you to interact with games by making hand gestures and movements without the need for a dedicated controller.
At this point you’d be forgiven for drawing some serious comparisons between PrimeSense and Project Natal and though PrimeSense does cite gaming as one of the advantages of the product, is rather sensibly demonstrating applications in other areas as well.
Automotive, security and surveillance seem to be potential markets but initially the focus is on improving interactivity in the home and adding a level of automation to consumer electronics. You could, for example, replace the typical actions of a mouse and keyboard to surf channels, open menus and access content, engage in video communication using virtual screens and drawing boards and get fit with virtual trainers that monitor your posture and movement.
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