Microsoft researcher Johnny Chung Lee, a major contributor to the development of the Kinect technology, has left the company to join a special Google team, it's been revealed.
"After more than two and a half years working as a core contributor to the human tracking algorithms for Kinect, it was an extremely difficult decision and I leave behind many great colleagues in Redmond," Lee explains in a blog post discovered by ZDNet
His new role is "Rapid Evaluator" at Google. Lee has a doctoral degree in human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon, has researched augmented reality, brain-controlled interfaces and haptics.
He gained some online recognition thanks to some innovative Wii hacks he developed, like head-tracking for desktops or finger-tracking using just the Wii remote hardware and Bluetooth, for example. He owns several patents and is in the process of applying for some more.
Lee joined Microsoft in 2008, where he researched new input devices and hardware products. He joined the Xbox team in 2009 to specifically to work on commercializing Kinect.
"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," says Lee. "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."