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Wii remote YouTube expert on Project Natal

Fri 05 Jun 2009 8:53am GMT / 4:53am EDT / 1:53am PDT
HardwareOnline

Internet phenomenon Johnny Lee reveals he's been working on Microsoft's Project Natal

Human-computer interaction expert Johnny Chung Lee, famous for his series of YouTube videos utilising the Wii, has revealed that he is working on Project Natal for Microsoft.

Lee rose to fame through a number of videos which used a standard Wii and controller to perform head tracking, finger tracking and other advanced features. Although none of his innovations were taken up by Nintendo or other Wii developers, Lee was employed as a researcher in the Applied Sciences group at Microsoft.

As such Lee has revealed in his personal blog that he has been "helping Xbox with Project Natal" - the motion control system unveiled at E3 2009 this week. Specifically, Lee has been part of a team attempting to ensure the technology works in normal living room conditions.

Although unable to reveal any further details about the system, Lee describes the 3D sensor used as "providing detailed 3D information about the environment similar to very expensive laser range finding systems but at a tiny fraction of the cost".

"The human tracking algorithms that the teams have developed are well ahead of the state of the art in computer vision in this domain", he adds. "The sophistication and performance of the algorithms rival or exceed anything that I've seen in academic research, never mind a consumer product."

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