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Natal 'year's most exciting product'

Steve Ballmer reckons 360 camera is Microsoft's number one product of 2010

Mental Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer reckons that Project Natal is the company's most exciting product of the year.

Speaking to a group of executives in Bogota, Columbia this week, Ballmer argued that the 360 motion device has capabilities beyond gaming.

He said: "Perhaps for me the most exciting product we'll bring to market this year, and it really fits in this context, actually comes out of our videogaming group. You might say, why would I talk to a group of CEOs about videogames? Because the technology actually is very general purpose, and we'll see come into the rest of our lives pretty soon.

"It's a technology that we call Natal. It's a little camera and microphone that sits on top of your TV set. And if you want to control the TV, you don't go get some remote control or big fat gaming thing. If you want to look through TV channels, you just gesture, and the computer recognizes your voice, it recognizes your gestures.

"You want to see the next sports program, you go like this, it will cycle you through. You want to play a game and you need to jump, you jump. I'm not going to jump too hard; a little bit too high altitude here in Bogota for that, at least for me. But it recognizes you, it knows your voice, who you are, your gestures, what you're doing."

He added: "And if you think about that in a lot of settings, why am I carrying this thing? I've already forgotten three times where I set it down. I should just be able to go like this, and the camera should recognize that gesture and control the slides for me, and let these kinds of things freely happen."

Microsoft's set to blow the lid off Project Natal at its E3 'World Premiere' event on June 13. We'll be there, so stick with us for all the party games and silly lifestyle photos that'll inevitably follow.