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Human or controller?

Sixth Sense creator Pranax Mistry shows off his creation
Photo Credit: www.dustinkirk.com

The days of Nintendos, brick phones and big honkin’ TVs have been gone for some time now.

So the question is, how long until “new” technology like Playstations, iPhones and Plasma TVs become obsolete?

The answer: not as long as you may think. As technology continues to grow exponentially, companies continue to one-up each other – and the best is yet to come.

I, like many others, was enthralled with the Nintendo Wii when it was unveiled in 2004 and remained rapt with the console until Wii Fit started telling me I was obese and needed to lose weight. What a jerk.

In June 2009, Microsoft announced Project Natal, a ground-breaking, controller-free gaming system that makes the once-earth shattering Wii look like that guy who hangs out at a roller rink wearing Zubaz and a members-only jacket.

No nunchucks necessary - with Project Natal, your body is the controller. A sensor scans your body using revolutionary voice and facial recognition technology, then your body movements are mimicked by your avatar on the screen in real time.

Don’t believe me? Check out these demo videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZM4_2cuZwA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ1gQfwxLOw&feature=related

Until now, technological advances in gaming have made gaming more complex. Conversely, Project Natal simplifies game-play – a welcome development for the not-so-technologically savvy, like my dad.

“This looks great,” says my dad, Malcolm Schapansky, a 53-year-old security manager for Sobey’s. “Now that I don’t have to learn the controls, I’ll be able to beat you at everything.” Yeah, okay…good luck with that.

Project Natal hooks up directly to your Xbox 360 and is scheduled to be released in North America just in time for the holidays in 2010 at a cost of roughly $100 Canadian.

Not into gaming? No problem.

Pranav Mistry and Pattie Maes of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used the 2009 Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference in Long Beach, California to introduce people to the Sixth Sense, a wearable device with a projector that allows the user to interact with his/her environment.

Think iPhone meets Minority Report.

With the Sixth Sense, users manipulate movements on the “screen” using just their fingers (any surface can be used, even the user's hand hand). Other features include product recognition, photo and video editing, and many other features available on the most advanced phones available.

A public release date for the Sixth Sense has yet to be announced. The demo from TED is available at http://www.ted.com/talks/pattiemaesdemosthesixth_sense.html

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Cole Schapansky of Red River College

  • 35 years old
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • User since Oct 27th 2009, 09:41

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