Friday, April 11, 2008

Second Life Set to Offer Wii-Like Interactivity Using 3D Cameras

While the Nintendo Wii has garnered attention from consumers and media alike for its innovative motion-based controls, Linden Lab is experimenting with a new way to interact with its Second Life virtual world with nothing more than a Webcam. Codenamed Segalen, the technology makes use of 3D Webcams, such as the ones from 3DVsystems, to track user's body gestures to let them navigate and edit within the environment. Second Life creator Mitch Kapor and Kapor Enterprises Inc. employee Philippe Bossut demonstrate the basics of moving around the 3D virtual world without the use of a keyboard or mouse--the traditional interface for most games. They mention that they took some cues from the way people use the Segway personal transport device to map out people's gestures and posture into a 3D world. The technology can also track facial gestures and match them onscreen in real time.

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