The augmented reality requirements behind this software algorithm, as well as its potential abilities to create user-aware digital identities on a social level based on the full spectrum of human emotion, would be an incredible leap forward for both the gaming industry and the web-connected social networking industry.
Microsoft Corp. has been implying that the motion sensor Natal is not just a sensor to track down motions or gestures, but an enabler for a whole new platform. In a recent interview Microsoft said that Natal is indeed not only for gaming and it will be used to tailor various multimedia services Microsoft and Xbox Live provide.
Apparently, Microsoft sees Natal as an ultimate remote controller for the living room. Natal will be able, perhaps, eventually, track down one’s emotions to create more tailored entertainment experience. Quite naturally, thanks to already announced facial recognition by Natal, the platform should be able to learn one’s preferences and offer appropriate content, obviously, provided by Microsoft.
“Natal isn't just about gaming – it is about all living-room experiences. Imagine a sporting event – Natal could know which team you are for because it sees your jersey, or knows you thought a bad call was made when you yell ‘boo’. It learns about you and gets smarter to create a more tailored entertainment experience,” said Marc Whitten, general manager of Xbox Live business at Microsoft, in an interview with Fast Company web-site.
In fact, Natal motion sensor just reduces the number of buttons in the living room and allows people not familiar with game controllers to start playing games.
"If you counted the number of buttons in your living room, it would send a chill down your spine. A lot of people can play games amazingly well, but others feel locked out if games involve a bunch of triggers and buttons. Natal solves that by using 3D sensors and cameras that let you be the controller. If you want to do the spin-kick serve, no programmer has to implement the spin-kick-serve button. You just do it, and it works,” said Mr. Whitten.
One question that remains unanswered, though, is whether people with certain physical conditions will be able to successfully play games designed for Natal.