Microsoft’s Project Natal as your Remote Control? No, Thanks.
Call me old fashioned, but I still don’t get this whole gesture control movement that is being adopted for TV’s and other devices. I get the use of it in video games — it’s more fun playing tennis in a video game when you get to at least swing something instead of just pressing a button. There is that associated action of swinging your arm and playing tennis. The problem is, I don’t have any motion or movement that I would like to associate with TV viewing. Like what’s the thumb’s up gesture associated with? What was the hand wave for page up again?
This doesn’t seem to phase Microsoft and their Project Natal for the X-Box 360. Yeah, I know Project Natal is originally for playing games but some recent talk from Microsoft shows that they are extremely interested in using Natal as a complete input for your home theater. Granted they also want you to run that entire theater through an X-Box 360 of course. With services like SkyTV and Netflix they want to provide all of your media content which you could control via your Natal, or Project Natal, or whatever it will actually be called.
Having your media content centralized in a single place is awesome, I love my XMBC setup but I don’t feel I need any special way to interact with it except for my remote control. Now to be fair, Microsoft is actually touting the facial recognition and voice recognition as the main way to control your media via Natal, but do I really need a 360 and Natal for that? The facial recognition is nice since everyone one has different tastes and you can have custom content for each user. The voice recognition on the other hand, isn’t too special. My Macbook has been able to recognize voice commands for a few years now, if I wanted to I could easily set all that up myself. In fact that is a good idea, I think I’ll go do that now.