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Microsoft: Project Natal to replace remote controls

Xbox Live manager imagines Natal as the future of television and content delivery

The forthcoming Project Natal motion control technology could replace the television remote control in the future, automatically scheduling content according to the people in a room, according to comments made by Xbox Live general manager Marc Whitten.

Speaking at the Streaming Media West show, as reported by Yahoo! Tech, Whitten described the increasing number of video applications - which includes Netflix in the US and Sky Player in the UK - on the Xbox 360 as the "biggest surprise" of his job.

Whitten also predicted that the increasing range and number of sources for video content required a new, easier to use controller than the traditional remote control - and that Project Natal was well placed to take over this role.

"With the flick of my wrist I can change a channel," Whitten said. "With the power of my voice I can start a movie."

"I don't believe we are currently in the golden age of the television or the golden age of the game console or the golden age of the Internet; frankly, five years from now I don't know that you'll be able to tell the difference between those worlds," Whitten added.

With the number of channels and content sources constantly increasing Whitten also suggested that in the future content would be organised according to brands and/or the user - with additional content being suggested automatically.

"The context is not 1 billion channels, but one," Whitten said. "One channel, with what I want, when I want it."

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