A high-ranking executive from Microsoft Corp. hinted in an interview that the company may already be hard at work on the second generation of its code-named Natal natural user interaction (NUI) device. The claim seems to be rather logical, but while the Natal is only designed for gaming, the second-gen device may be aimed at broader auditory.
“When we do invent something first like the Natal kind of scenario, while we have a researcher working with the product group for the first version, we already have a researcher thinking about the second version down the road so we certainly hope we will continue to be holding that technology. I really love what Microsoft is doing,” said Hsiao-Wuen Hon, managing director of Microsoft Research Asia, in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald.
With the introduction of Microsoft Natal and Sony PlayStation Move later this year motion-based input will become an official standard on video game systems. At this point it remains to be seen how good motion sensor Natal actually is and whether a similar technology can be used to control personal computers and appropriate software.
It is hardly surprising that Microsoft is researching potential successors for the Natal since the company’s next-generation game console will need it. The big question is still about potential usage of NUI technology for controlling non-gaming devices.