Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Majority Report?

Today I am pleased to welcome our first guest blogger: Simon Whalley, Executive Producer of our Design/Digital Department. Simon and his colleagues are involved in the burgeoning world which not only looks out to - but also creates - the Digital Universe. A place where anything is possible! Here is the first of what I hope will be many blogs from Simon:

You know that something truly innovative has occurred when the hands free interface that was featured in Minority Report is something that you can buy at Target. Well, you can’t actually buy it right this minute, but it is on its way. Last week Xbox premiered Project Natal – a controller-free gaming environment. Xbox introduced it as a “revolutionary new way to play: no controller required”. This technology will not only appeal to the stereotypical young men that we think make up the gaming world, this device will appeal to everybody. There would be few people of any gender or background that would be able to see the website, watch the video (http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/projectnatal/) and not want to own one as soon as it comes out. This technology promises to do what great technology does best, it will bridge together people from different worlds and industries.
This is truly an impressive development and it holds endless potential for gaming, social networking and the general day-to-day interface navigation of any electrical device.

I was speaking to someone the other day who said that the next person to crack the newest generation of interface would be triggering the next digital revolution. Could Microsoft have achieved this? Do they have any ideas for rolling this out in the non-gaming world? Will we be able to navigate our PCs using our hands, voices and facial expressions? (which some of us attempt to do anyway, it’s just that at the moment our computers are not responding to our screams, threats and grimaces!)

As creative professionals this opens the floodgates for us to create all manner of interactive and immersive imagery across different platforms, and I hope that we are able to embrace this concept. I know that I will try to be among the first wave of artists who are taking this technology to the next level. As the images in console games become ever more impressive, the distance between our industries is getting smaller and the lines are rapidly blurring. That really is something to get excited about.