Sensing your presence, Handsfree 3d in Second life

A great video by Mitch Kapor is doing the rounds. Part of the wave of things washing away the cave paintings we have of user input and computer output. It is interesting to see it hooked up to Second Life, which as chair of Linden Lab you would expect to see. However this shows that the technology and software is out there, and is coming to fruition to track our movements and get gesture based, controller free computing up and running. Like Project Natal on the 360 this starts to make things more accessible rather than us chimping on controllers and keyboards all the time.
Of course there is the issue of feedback, of muscle memory and patterns formed from understanding the resistance physics gives us, but that does not mean these are not going to be useful technologies. In fact having watched people (and also doing it myself) even when using a regular controller moving the body to somehow impart that extra turn, leaning back to slow down more means that there may well be a place for the hybrid solution. Controllers for precise feedback, knowing the limit of a steering lock in a car etc, but enhanced by body movement.

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Full body and emotion tracking in 3d with Project Natal

At E3 Microsoft announced to the gaming masses a new project, along with Steven Spielberg, a device to do full body and motion tracking. If it works properly its going to be one impressive shift in game control. However when you move this sort of technology to standard virtual worlds, we start to see that we can remove some of the problems people have in virtual worlds with the keyboard puppetry and control. As you can see from this extract.

“This incredible new experience is made possible thanks to the Project Natal Sensor, which combines an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone and custom processor running proprietary software all in one device. Existing cameras and controllers only trace movement in 2D, but Project Natal tracks full body movement in 3D and responds to commands, directions… even shifts of emotion in your voice!”

Above from