“Project Maestro” is Wii crossed with Microsoft Surface

Project Maestro

You can roll in all the big numbers you can think of, but when it comes to technological progress, nothing turns more heads than something that looks really cool. That is why more people took interest in Microsoft Surface, the Apple iPhone and the Nintendo Wii than, well, uh… you see?

While Microsoft Surface is still a bit far from release and will cost more than the war funding, we are left to simply dream of such intuitive interfaces. The latest to roll in this line comes from a comparatively obscure “Cynergy Labs” who unveiled their top-secret weapon, codenamed Project Maestro.

As you will see in the video below, Project Maestro utilizes the Wiimote, Microsoft WPF, third party libraries, custom-built Minority Report-inspired gloves as well as costly hardware like that TV you see. The result is a demonic interface that you can control with your hands. In the air. As the guy in the video at Cynergy’s site says, it’s Microsoft Surface, without the Surface. (Microsoft Surface – Surface = Mircosoft? The mind boggles.)

In the video, you can see the guy demonstrating Maestro by cutting and throwing Mona Lisa around as well as showing his photos, much like Microsoft Surface. The sexy gloves cover only three of his fingers, and allow him to pinch and grab stuff on the screen. He also shows off his encounter with Microsoft, which is cute. I particularly like the half-professional, half-homemade style of the video.

What bothers me is that I can’t see any particularly useful applications of this. It’ll be cool for some games, especially sports titles, racing titles or maybe shooters; that is until your arms ache and you take that gamepad back. Sure, throwing photos around and dissecting Mona Lisa is fun, but it’s not worth the massive price tag. I’m sure you can’t do office work waving your hands in the air. Internet browsing should be okay, but it’ll wear you out and incorrect pointing will have you clicking the wrong button.

In movies it should be good, since you don’t need to reach for the remote to pause, rewind or fast forward – simple hand-movements should do the trick. But then it would really suck if you grab a soda and the sensor thinks you want it to stop playback. But it would be a’ight nonetheless, and the same applies to listening to music. It’ll be pretty cool if we use to it create sounds out of Air Guitar moves.

Got some more ideas for this sweet thing? Post them in the comments and we’ll try to blackmail the guys at Cynergy into implementing them!

2 thoughts on ““Project Maestro” is Wii crossed with Microsoft Surface”

  1. Massive Price tag?! The thing cost me like $100 to build. $50 for Wii, $15 for baseball gloves and IR leds from Radio Shack at a buck fifty a pop 😉 Thanks for the write up though. We got to be on a panel with the guy who did the design work for Minority Report at MIX last week and MSFT invited me over to demo it at SXSWi this week. The code and design got a little tricky during those 8 days, but getting started is REALLY cheap and I blogged a basic tutorial on WPF Wii on my cynergy blog. Thanks for the shout out!

  2. Hi, thanks for visiting! It’s great to actually see someone from Cynergy reply here! We totally swear that part about blackmailing was just a joke – really. We swear.

    Also, to uphold my argument, $100+ is a little much for a fancy photo album – unless you’ve got some killer ninja uses for it. 😉

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