Microsoft brings Minority Report displays to office
Microsoft is promising that its new gesture-recognition technology, dubbed Project Natal, will transform the way we interact with our office.
Project Natal was first demonstrated as a peripheral for the Xbox 360, and utilises a camera, depth sensor and multi-array microphone to track user gestures and voice commands, allowing people to interact with their Xbox without requiring a controller.
However in a demonstration at its Seattle Campus, the company coupled Natal with a series of projectors to turn the entire office into a computer display.
During the demonstration the desk became a multitouch screen, much like Microsoft’s Surface technology, while the office walls became additional displays showing plans, photos and emails that could be manipulated through natural gestures.
In one demonstration, Microsoft’s senior research and strategy officer Craig Mundie projected the architectural plans for a new building on the walls, allowing him to stroll through the building before it was built.
“We’ve started to think differently about how we develop applications,” said Mundie. “We took concepts from Project Natal and extrapolated them into the business environment. The greatest opportunity for Microsoft is the successor the desktop – and it’s the room.”
Microsoft hasn’t confirmed when it will be releasing Project Natal on the Xbox 360, let alone when we can expect its vision of the future office to appear.