Microsoft's gesture-recognition technology, Project Natal, could transform the office, according to top company executive Craig Mundie.
In a demonstration on Thursday, Microsoft's top research and strategy officer showed how the desktop computer of the future will use an entire office as both display and input device. The room used voice and gestures as input, in addition to touch input via a number of touchscreens.
"The real question is what killer apps [will mark the] new era, and what will be the user interface that people use to get at them," Mundie said, speaking at Microsoft's financial analyst meeting in Redmond.
His demonstration included hologram-like videoconferencing, a virtual digital assistant and multiple surface computers, along with voice, touch and gesture recognition. The desk was a multitouch surface computer. The office's walls were also a display that could easily switch from being a virtual window and collection of digital photos, to being a corkboard of sticky notes to various workspaces.