Master Wii Hacker Joins Microsoft Ranks

Keane Ng

New member
Sep 11, 2008
5,892
0
0
Master Wii Hacker Joins Microsoft Ranks



Johnny Lee, the genius modder who gained some YouTube fame for conjuring up hacks like Wiimote head-tracking for VR displays and Wiimote finger tracking, now has a deserved job developing games hardware. But it's not with Nintendo.

When I first saw Johnny Lee's videos [http://www.youtube.com/user/jcl5m] on YouTube, the first thing I thought was "this guy has the most Asian name ever." The second thing was "Nintendo needs to hire this guy ASAP."

If Nintendo did actually try to scoop up this former grad student and researcher at all, they clearly didn't act quickly enough. Lee, whose homemade projects in modding the Wii Remote gave rise to hacks of jaw-dropping sophistication like head tracking in virtual reality displays [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw], is now officially a Microsoft employee.

Lee's projects usually focused on tracking motion in real-life with surprising precision on machines, so he'd seem like a natural fit for Nintendo, but maybe even moreso for Microsoft's recently revealed Project Natal. So it makes sense when he writes on his blog [http://procrastineering.blogspot.com/2009/06/project-natal.html] that he's now working on how to bring Natal "from the E3 stage to your living room."

Sure, he does have to tow the company line now, but considering this guy was at Carnegie Mellon studying "interface and sensing technology for nearly 10 years," I'd say there's some weight to what Lee says when he declares that Natal is "an astonishing combination of hardware and software."

Lee likens Natal's 3D sensor to "very expensive laser range finding systems but at a tiny fraction of the cost." What really gets him excited, though, are the algorithms Microsoft has developed for interpreting the data read from that sensor, which he claims "are well ahead of the state of the art in computer vision" and rival or exceed "anything that I've seen in academic research, never mind a consumer project."

"We would all love to one day have our own personal holodeck," Lee said. "This is a pretty measurable step in that direction."


Permalink
 

IceStar100

New member
Jan 5, 2009
1,173
0
0
Nintendo %^&* we dropped the ball and MS stole it scored a touch down and banged the head cheerleader and home coming queen at the same time.
 

AboveUp

New member
May 21, 2008
1,382
0
0
I'm glad to see he finally got hired somewhere. I've really wondered why Nintendo didn't do anything with this guy.
 

Ancientgamer

New member
Jan 16, 2009
1,346
0
0
Haha, I remember seeing one of his videos almost a year ago and thinking. "Somebody needs to hire him fast." Looks like I wasn't the only one.
 

azadiscool

New member
Dec 10, 2008
224
0
0
Looks like Nintendo got beaten to the punch. So far, I had been more supportive of Sony's motion sensing efforts, while assuming Natal would just be an Eye Toy, but although I still prefer Sony's, I could see myself getting tided over to Natal if Microsoft can pull it off.
 

Darkin20

New member
May 27, 2009
33
0
0
but but but the wii is going to have a gyro! and the ps3 magic wands!... ok fine.
 

The Shade

New member
Mar 20, 2008
2,392
0
0
Well, if some guy I've never heard of says Project Natal is going to work, that's all I needed to hear.

Seriously.

o_0
 

PhantomCritic

New member
May 9, 2009
865
0
0
The guys at MicroSoft have clearly made the right choice. Nintendo is, lets face it, going down the drain, well the Wii certainly is. At least Microsoft has definetly made should a big mark on the world that this guy will certainly not be sacked in a hurry. I just hope he won't be subjected to recreating the Xbox360 with Wii remote capabilities.
 

scotth266

Wait when did I get a sub
Jan 10, 2009
5,202
0
0
You know what? I was skeptical about Natal working for games. Now, I find myself actually enthused.
 

Reaperman Wompa

New member
Aug 6, 2008
2,564
0
0
Nice work Microsoft. Nintendo will throw an absolute fucking fit about this, the guy's obviously an expert in the field of their main product, and one of their main rivals just stole him. I don't know if they've got better guys working on staff, or if they just dropped the ball, but Nintendo is seriously losing it.
 

A random person

New member
Apr 20, 2009
4,732
0
0
Nintendo, why didn't you hire this guy? He could have made your controller good for things other than pointing and very simple shakes. But you let Microsoft take him, skipping a great chance to get back the "hardcores" and shake the image of your console being a cheap gimmick.