Is this the future of Microsoft gaming?

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OmniTouch-keypad

With the Wii U having been announced earlier this year, there’s no doubt that the first salvo in the next big console wars has been fired. Sure, its still going to be a few years before Sony and Microsoft catch up, but they’re going to have to think outside of the box when it comes to beating the competition.

And if the latest bit of technology that Microsoft recently unveiled is anything to go by, they might just have the necessary edge to dominate the sales charts in the next couple of years.

The tech prototype, which was developed at Carnegie Mellon University with Microsoft Research teams, turns any surface into a touch screen. Known as the Omnitouch, the shoulder-mounted camera projects interactive images onto a surface, such as a wall, desk or even your hand.

The image can then be interacted with, with swipes, touches, taps and pinches. Spotted by Gamasutra, Microsoft released a clip to show how the device works.

What links the gaming connection even further however, is that the camera in the device is actually a modified Kinect camera, with a special lens created by the Israeli manufacturer of the gaming device, PrimeSense.

Microsoft hasn’t made any mention of what they intend to do with the device just yet, but the potential implications for gaming could be staggering.

Imagine projecting a grenade into your hand that you could activate and throw, or the mini-games that upcoming studios could create to enhance their future titles. We could even finally have our own omni-tool in Mass Effect 4, if they ever make that game.

Last Updated: October 19, 2011

Darryn Bonthuys

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