Microsoft's Natal Project seems to offer genuine glimpse of gaming and marketing futures

June 6, 2009 by Dave Haynes

Most of the videos that I have seen from Microsoft that suggest the future of the digital home or office or life have prompted my eyes to roll back into my forehead. Goofy vaporware with no real purpose.

But … a new video out from Redmond shows the Natal Project and what looks to be the genuine future for gaming and, by extension, marketing. This is gesture-based gaming, but without the Wii controllers that were such a giant leap forward not that long ago.

Probably like most people I watched the video and thought, “Yeah, right … that will work in the real world.” But Microsoft invited in a couple of guys from Gizmodo, who would merrily trash this thing given the chance, and they wrote up a glowing report, effectively saying the thing really, really did work.


What sets this apart, if you didn’t watch the video and started reading instead, is gesture-based gaming and interaction, without any gadgets.

The interesting hook, for me, comes at the two minute mark when a girl walks into the room, has her face recognized, and starts yakking with a girlfriend and trying on clothes off a virtual rack. THAT is a commercial application not only for etailers, but also for brands and retailers looking to do something very different in their storefronts.

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