One of Microsoft’s main researchers on Kinect has left the company to work with Google. Johnny Chung Lee has been at work on the 360’s motion device for two and a half years. Now that it’s out and has performed pretty darn well he’s moved on to a new, unknown project.
Lee shared on his blog: “It was a wild ride, helping Kinect along through the very early days of incubation (even before it was called “Project Natal”) all the way to shipping 8 million units in the first 60 days. It’s not often you work on a project that gets a lavish product announcement by Cirque du Soleil and a big Times Square Launch party. The success of Kinect is a result of fantastic work by a lot of people. I’m also very happy that so many other people share my excitement about the technology.”
It’s goodbye for Xbox, then, but not forever. Lee – like any gentleman – promised he’d keep in touch: “It was great to be a part of such a unique project. I look forward to seeing all the creative and unexpected ways that game developers will use the data from the camera to create fun experiences. The Xbox is.. a great console, and a great platform, with a lot of potential. I genuinely look forward to seeing how it will evolve over the next few years and I absolutely wish the Xbox team the best of luck.”