Tech site Endgadget is reporting that Microsoft plans to launch a gadget for the Xbox 360 which extends the Wii-style motion control to cover the entire body.
According to the site’s source, which has the somewhat lightweight description of “someone who purports to be in the know”, the system would not involve controllers. Instead there would be a horizontal bar which includes a camera, a microphone and two sensors. (Pictured above)
As well as allowing for video conferencing-style features, the system would apparently allow full-body and hand motion control. Not only would this allow extended actions in fighting games, such as kicking and ducking, but it would also allow for hand gestures such as grabbing or pinching.
On the surface, the story sounds ludicrous and the technology doesn’t seem plausible. However, it was widely reported in February that Microsoft was attempting to buy 3DV, an Israeli firm which makes the Zcam, a device which captures body motion without controllers.
The system works by sending out infrared light pulses and then taking photographs with the camera at extremely short intervals. By analyzing how much light is reflected from each pixel in the picture, the system can work out how far the relevant object is from the camera and thus detect the pattern of movements.
The firm has already demonstrated the system for use in games such as boxing, so the Xbox reports are at the very least feasible.
Of course, that’s all well and good until you put your foot through your TV attempting a Prince of Persia wall jump.