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Topic: Remember that Wii Head-Tracking Genius?

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Vendetta

1. Posted:

I'm sure most of you saw this video of/by Johnny Chung Lee at least once during the past year and a half.

Well it turns out he's now working for Microsoft on the Natal Project.
Sucks Nintendo didn't snatch him up while they had the chance.

Edited on by Vendetta

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minihutchi

2. Posted:

damn it thats lame first microsoft steal rare and now they steal someone who develops wii head tracking devices can they stop? still we get that dodgy thing nintendo are working on that monitors your pulse in order to speed up the game that would make awesome tetris. i bet that microsoft my miyamoto next

max hutchinson, sunderland
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warioswoods

3. Posted:

I already heard about him working on Natal, but I never thought the head-tracking was the most interesting thing he did, I consider the lost-cost Wii Whiteboard solution a much more inventive idea (which a good number of schools have apparently picked up as a cheap way to get an interactive board). As for the head tracking, too many people online keep talking about it as if it actually produces a 3D image in the same way watching a 3D movie has depth, but that's completely wrong--it looks great in the video, since the camera has only one eye and therefore gives the illusion of objects popping out of the TV, but that's not the effect a live person will see at all. They will see a nice matching between their head's movements and the perspective on screen, which will certainly add a new degree of realism, but not in the way some seem to think based on that video.

Anyhow, I'm not too concerned about his capture by MS; Natal is still a concept that is doomed to failure or mere niche status, as I see it. It's a bit like Microsoft Surface... kind of a cool idea, plenty of exceptional features built in, but not going to see widespread use, for other companies have integrated touch technology in a much cheaper, more intuitive, and generally more streamlined manner, which matters far more than the technical features on paper. They also can't just flip around all that energy-drink-like marketing of the Xbox line over the years, whereby they've clearly branded it as a console for living out adolescent fantasies. I don't see them suddenly winning over the broader population just by showing some tech demos of advanced motion capture technology.

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Pahvi

4. Posted:

Whoa, good to hear that these experiments of his might have helped him in his career :) And I definitely don't feel like MS did anything wrong by hiring him -- more like the opposite, now his ideas can be better used in entertainment industry.

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Hardy83

5. Posted:

Let that be a lesson for you nerds with skills.

Post your abilities on youtube and you may get a call from someone big.

Hardy83

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wanderlustwarrior

6. Posted:

@warioswoods:Incidentally, among other projects, he repurposed the Wiimote as a Microsoft Surface device. Also, I have to disagree over how you see the fate of the Natal, considering just as people were/are saying the same about the Wii, i think it'll have the same success (heck, I'll probably be getting it)

@minihutchi: Its not really stealing considering Nintendo had 3 years to at least listen to the guy (for a comparison, if a sports team offers nothing or a minimal contract with its star player, of course the player will sign with another team). Really, it seems to be a trend of current-thinking, not forward thinking, on their part, since the release of the wii. Outside of the balance board, I'm not really thinking of much they've innovated, and they're starting to fall behind in other areas (online support, storage/space and other general technology, and now interface)

Yeah, I'd heard of this a while back and thought: good for him, maybe now his innovations will actually be used in games.
more from him here: http://us.kotaku.com/search/johnny%20lee/

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minihutchi

7. Posted:

hmm your right sorry for inconvenience

max hutchinson, sunderland
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warioswoods

8. Posted:

wanderlustwarrior wrote:

@warioswoods:Incidentally, among other projects, he repurposed the Wiimote as a Microsoft Surface device.

Not really, but I believe you're talking about the multi-touch version of his whiteboard project, where you would use a projector to cast an image on a table, and then have the IR part of a Wii remote pointed at the table, with IR-LEDs in pens. In other words, the exact same setup for his whiteboard, but with the image projected down onto a table, with more multi-touch goodies. That's not anything like Microsoft Surface, as far as I'm concerned; it does cover some of the same ground in functionality, but by taking the exact opposite route. Surface is all about having an insanely expensive screen built into a table, which essentially has a continuous camera as well, so that it can read your touch and even read objects you set on it like a credit card. In any case, it's an extremely expensive solution, while Chung showed how to achieve some of the same user interface goals in a much more intelligent fashion.

... they're [Nintendo] starting to fall behind in other areas (online support, storage/space and other general technology, and now interface)

Interface? How? The user-interface on the Wii is still leaps and bounds beyond what MS and Sony have shown with their new tech. Why do I say that? It's infinitely more intuitive to simply point your remote at the screen and select or grab items. Sony's eyeToy nonsense will still require a normal gamepad in order to navigate menus, unless they have you waving that ball around and gesturing at things, which sounds disastrous as far as UI and menu design is concerned. MS's system will likewise have difficulty avoid the gamepad for its main navigation interface... all fantasies of moving your hands around like Minority Report still fall behind the simplicity of using a pointing device. But you probably mean interface in a more general sense, not user interface, however it is just these gaping holes in basic interaction that will make this tech a hard sell to most consumers, and that will probably have games still rely on the old gamepad for many basic features, which is absurd from the outset if we're trying to leave that kind of control behind.

Twitter is a good place to throw your nonsense.
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Machu

9. Posted:

That's a shame, when I first saw that video I just assumed Nintendo would be all over the lad, but Microsoft got there first huh, never mind. Nintendo's awesome dev' dudes are probably up to much more interesting things behind closed doors, just you wait and see...

Rawr!

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wanderlustwarrior

10. Posted:

@warioswoods: actually, I do mean user interface. I would prefer Natal, especially as it doesn't prohibit the use of a regular controller, but can go alongside it.

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mrmicawber

11. Posted:

Why does Nintendo need this Johnny fellow? Do you really think they are short of talented engineers and r and d facilites?

Have fun making Peek-a-Boo Milo, Johnny....!

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theblackdragon

12. Posted:

(a) i had never seen that video before, holy crap that is awesome.
(b) it wouldn't be the first time Nintendo has ignored or passed up interesting things submitted to them... after all, the dudes who discovered the exploit in Twilight Princess tried to contact Nintendo about the potential security flaw and were ignored.

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wanderlustwarrior

13. Posted:

@mrmicawber: if there's one thing an entertainment company shouldn't be able to have enough of, its talented R&D people (that they actually listen to). If (i don't know for sure) they didn't even consider the guy, this was a poor move on their choice.

@theblackdragon: when it comes to businesses, my policy is if you intentionally ignore security issues, you (the people that ignored them, not others who had no idea) deserve what you get. More power to the people who use the Twilight Hack if this is the case

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theblackdragon

14. Posted:

@wanderlustwarrior: agreed.

BEST THREAD EVER
future of NL >:3
[16:43] James: I should learn these site rules more clearly
[16:44] LztheBlehBird: James doesn't know the rules? For shame!!!
[16:44] Vintage: We have rules?
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Ravage

15. Posted:

warioswoods wrote:

I already heard about him working on Natal, but I never thought the head-tracking was the most interesting thing he did, I consider the lost-cost Wii Whiteboard solution a much more inventive idea (which a good number of schools have apparently picked up as a cheap way to get an interactive board). As for the head tracking, too many people online keep talking about it as if it actually produces a 3D image in the same way watching a 3D movie has depth, but that's completely wrong--it looks great in the video, since the camera has only one eye and therefore gives the illusion of objects popping out of the TV, but that's not the effect a live person will see at all. They will see a nice matching between their head's movements and the perspective on screen, which will certainly add a new degree of realism, but not in the way some seem to think based on that video.

Anyhow, I'm not too concerned about his capture by MS; Natal is still a concept that is doomed to failure or mere niche status, as I see it. It's a bit like Microsoft Surface... kind of a cool idea, plenty of exceptional features built in, but not going to see widespread use, for other companies have integrated touch technology in a much cheaper, more intuitive, and generally more streamlined manner, which matters far more than the technical features on paper. They also can't just flip around all that energy-drink-like marketing of the Xbox line over the years, whereby they've clearly branded it as a console for living out adolescent fantasies. I don't see them suddenly winning over the broader population just by showing some tech demos of advanced motion capture technology.

I agree completely. This Natal thing is supposed to be added on to the current Xbox so there will have to be a large enough following of people who buy that. Then the tweaking in these controls will be huge expense to developers, even compared to "waggle controls". I don't think it's going to get the proper support and most, if not all, of what an Xbox seams to be about will not work with this Natal. It is a neat tech demo, but that is all it really is and without a controller to go with it, it's getting very far.

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mrmicawber

16. Posted:

@mrmicawber: if there's one thing an entertainment company shouldn't be able to have enough of, its talented R&D people (that they actually listen to). If (i don't know for sure) they didn't even consider the guy, this was a poor move on their choice. - wanderlust warrior

I do not see it that way. Perhaps it speaks of desperation and money throwing on MS part. Bringning in people helter skelter, buying companies to develop Natal. Good ideas at Nintendo come from Nintendo and work from the inside out. They develope their periphials and the software for it concurrently. When they do not have enough internal resources to make a 2nd tier Nintendo game - they out source.

MS, by contrast, living on the Windows Mojave feeding tube, just throws money around. They have Molneaux making Milo for goodness sakes! Nintendo is more established and stable. Why bring Johnny into EAD when he probably cannot even speak their language, and they have more qualified people in their own country?

Bottom line, Nintendo did not miss any oppurtunity, and I dount theat head tracking is beyond their grasp, lol....

IGN: The holiday Wii lineup looks thin for the hardcore crowd. We see this. Gamers see this. What, if anything, is Nintendo planning to address it?

Oh good, I am neither a gamer or hardcore. Saves me from having to be IGNorant.
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