Microsoft's Project Natal roots revealed: 3DV Systems ZCam

We had a hunch that 3DV Systems' technology -- which we actually toyed with back at CES 2008 -- had something to do with Microsoft's newly unveiled Project Natal motion tracking solution, and today details have trickled in to us confirming as much. As the story goes, 3DV Systems was initially hoping to have the ZCam in the manufacturing process by the tail end of 2008, but Microsoft swooped in and acquired the outfit just weeks after it blew minds in January. At the time, not much thought was given to the pickup; now, however, we're treated to a bona fide ZCam brochure which details the actual specifications behind the Xbox 360's newest friend. Granted, we have every reason to believe that Natal has advanced significantly from what you'll see in the gallery below, but it's still a tasty nugget of behind-the-scenes information. Of note, the former 3DV Systems VP of Business Development was quoted as saying that the target retail price of the ZCam was $100, though it still had aways to go as of early 2008.