Scientific American has an interesting post on how Project Natal really works – a combination of machine learning and a lot of biometric data gathering for a start. In many ways, it demonstrates the value of Microsoft Research (MSR) and how much closer that division is getting to the groups who ship products at Microsoft. It also shows the breadth of MSR as the algorithm for machine learning in Natal was developed by Jamie Shotton, a researcher at MSR in Cambridge, England. No matter that the main development is done in Seattle, over 5000 miles away.
It’s a short but good read and closes with Peter Molyneux in typically buoyant form saying “
Natal is forcing me as a designer to think of this as a relationship between the player and a piece of technology," he says. "We're trying to make something that feels as if it's alive."