Update: Gametrak Freedom controller announced, read the story here;
You may or may not have heard about Microsoft’s acquisition of 3DV Systems (makers of the ZCam digital camera), which has been rumored since early February. For a mere $35 million, Microsoft is planning to use the virtual reality imaging technology, originally developed for defense systems, to power the next evolution in motion-sensitive gaming.
Technology journalist Dean Takahashi was able to demo the ZCam and said it was more accurate than both the EyeToy and the Nintendo Wii. The major advantage over the Wii is that you don’t have to hold a controller, and you also won’t have to buy stupid peripherals like the steering wheel to make the controls seem more natural. You could even represent things in the game world by actually holding that object in the real world, like a sword for instance (we all have swords, right?)
It also has an advantage over the EyeToy in that it doesn’t require ambient light to function — the ZCam works perfectly even in a dark room. It emits its own infrared beams and measures the reflections off of objects, which also makes it more accurate on a 3D plane since it more accurately judges distance.
Here you can check out this “first look” at the ZCam from back at CES 2008: