Microsoft: Project Natal Can Replace The TV Remote

The Xbox 360's hands-free motion controller, due to hit sometime next year, could be more than just a new way to gyrate frantically or befriend boys in front of your television screen. It could also replace your TV remote.

Xbox Live GM Marc Whitten has designs on replacing the traditional TV remote with voice and gesture recognition, courtesy of Project Natal. According to a report from Yahoo! Tech, Whitten believes that Natal "will be the largest leap of TV experience since the remote control," providing better input options than the increasingly complex remote.

How? By recognising common, button-less input via Natal.

"Laughter is an input," Whitten said at the Streaming Media West show last week. "Yelling at the TV when I know an answer on 'Jeopardy' is an input. Attention is an input. The number of people in the room at one time is an input." And, you know, that's a fairly interesting concept.

Microsoft Sees 'Natal' as Your Next TV Remote [Yahoo! Tech]


    Yeah, I'd love to have my TV flipping the channel every time I laugh.. or maybe I'd have to get up and wave around like a mad man (Wii style) every time I want to change the channel? I don't think it's nearly sensitive enough to recognize gestures from my fingers alone.
    Oh well, it's an interesting though.. but seems rather impractical for now.

      Glad to know we have a technical expert on here who knows the potential capabilities of something not ever released yet.

      Yeah I'm curious to see how that would work.

      Sure, some remotes might be complex, but flicking channels up and down is extremely easy and requires little effort. Replacing it with voice commands or hand gestures... I'm not sure if people will go for it.

    I seriously do not see this as an impractical feature.
    Natal can sign you into your Xbox Live account by purely walking in front of the camera.

    A feature such as this is definitely possible and realistic, so why not utilize the power of what Microsoft have created with Natal.

    And although i'm not a big fan of the Wii - the Wii is not something i think of waving my hands in the air to play a game. Do you not know that not all Wii games make use of motion control? Or the fact that only a handful of games probably make use of you looking like a moron waving your hands in the air in an objective that reminisces that of waving your hands in the air in the game.

    THEN AGAIN... something like this just gives people even more of a reason to be lazy. Would probably become the biggest excuse to be lazy since the introduction of the remote. Now people won't need to move their arms or fingers or get up to look for a remote even though it would be quicker to change the channel on the TV itself instead of lifting cushions searching for it.

    Voice recognition software has been commercially available for roughly ten years, how many people use it to write e-mails and messages? Hmmm. If voice recognition was so popular computers would be without keyboards by now. End War was all based on voice recognition, how well did that title do and how many other games have followed?!

      Accelerometers have been around for a good while too, it just took a clever company like Nintendo to deliver it to people in a friendly way. Microsoft is by far no stranger at getting people to use its products, it will be a novelty at first, like having a "clapper" then over time become more practical. It's early stages don't forget, it's not going to revolutionize over night.

      As for End War well that's a little more complex and tedious, and took the fun out of the game i think. I mean how hard is it to say "Channel 9" and it switches or "Off". This is going to be a way for Microsoft to acquire more of a user install base and the next step to world domination.

      Simcoe, I think you'd be surprised how many people actually do use Voice Recognition software and how accurate it is nowadays.. There's a very recent article on it on ArsTechnica if you're really interested.

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