Having worked on the Xbox account for 5-6 years and being part of Microsoft you’d probably expect we knew all about this. Nope! They kept this one under tight wraps and surprised the lot of us today. Of course there have been rumours on the web, but the fact is we did not expect to get an announcement this exciting! Most expected a ‘me too’ Wii catchup controller – but instead we have something truly groundbreaking.
What is it? Best to watch the videos, but in summary the hardware is a new breed of sensor for the Xbox 360 that can recognise a persons body movement accurately within a 3D space, full facial recognition and voice – without a controller. The potential is amazing… just watch. We understand that all the footage shot are real demos. Nothing canned.
The Ad: When Microsoft figures out how to make a decent ad, the competition will be in trouble – it’s the only thing we didn’t like.
Meet Milo – the virtual boy. (below)
The ‘Sensor’ that lives under your telly:
More juicy videos and gossip from the rather raw Xbox staff blog at www.insiderx.com
Found via TED, via Ken Moore’s Design Blog is this neat hack of the Wii remote to create a modern version of the theremin. Please note those with a nervous disposition should view with caution. Scary faces are pulled in the making of this movie.
A company called Sixense might have leapfrogged the field with a system called TrueMotion 3D. Rather than relying solely on an accelerometer, this controller uses a magnetic field to track both your hands’ positions in 3D space. With a refresh rate of ten milliseconds and accuracy up to a millimeter, and interest from developers including Activision and EA.
Last night we came into possession of what we believe to be a beta-release for a new kind of 3D Mouse from Google. Whilst we can’t disclose exactly who gave this (because they work at Google) it certainly raised a few eyebrows in here when we opened the package. We’ve never seen a mouse like this before and has a couple of really WOW features (check out the last image).
EDIT: Just uploaded a quick video (this was right after we took it out of the box).
So our second unboxing in a month (*)… unfortunately we missed the opening of this box initially because it was totally unmarked so we didn’t know what was inside until we saw the mouse through the plastic …at which point we got the camera out. The mouse was well packed with inflated pouch to avoid any damage.
Confirmed: It is green and has see through bits showing the Google logo.
Underside: Marked (A) is likely part of the 3D accelerometer. This lets you lift the mouse up an use it pretty much like like a Wii controller (see shot of screen below).
(B) seems to be part of the Wii-like 3D system for when you’re waving it about – yes you can actually see the yellow sensor inside moving as you move your hand.
(C) – Appears to be the Biometric reader (nicely branded) and (D) seems to control all the 3D movements but doubles up as a really comfortable ergonomic gel to prevent RSI.
Above: The mouse in action – after the mouse drivers install you get this pretty neat affect as you lift the mouse up; the cursor lifts up and becomes huge, casting a shadow on the desktop. We haven’t figured out what the use for this might be yet but it was fun.
We were a bit disappointed that the mouse is not wireless, but seeing there was no battery compartment it probably needs to get power from somewhere.
Incidentally it’s Google’s tenth birthday, and we know they love a good old joke down under …Happy Birthday Google, and thanks for the mouse – already put to good use.