If you’ve not heard of Project Natal yet it’s probably not suprising, as it’s gaming technology for now. But it may be the future of a lot more than that. In a nutshell it’s Microsoft’s reaction to the Nintendo Wii, and promises to revolutionise the way we interact with ICTs. But gues what, it just might.
Basically Project Natal attempts to do away with standard game controllers, and build enough intelligence into the ICT itself to recognise people in front of it, and respond to their natural prompts such as physical gestures and speech. You can see a demo of it here:
Pretty ambitious, and there are many pundits out there which not only doubt the honesty of this demo, but also whether or not this will really work, but Microsoft do plan to have this in the shops by the end of 2010, so time will tell.
Moving this forward into the web world, the question is will this have an impact on how we create web spaces as well. Most websites are tied into the keyboard/mouse interface, and their design is based on what this combination can offer the user in terms of interaction, but as the type of interface shifts maybe we need to question how we create interaction as well. With gesture and touch interface already gaining ground through devices such as the iPhone and the Wii, and the web itself spreading out from it’s traditional home on the PC to more and more types of devices, it’s possible to see a future where whole hosts of new web interactions will be needed too.
We certainly do live in interesting times.