Wow- brilliant example of connecting the dots. Kudos to Microsoft. I never thought that I would say that. My impression of Microsoft has been fast follower with not much creativity, but Project Natal has given me a whole new impression of the MS team.This is a brilliant execution and idea.
I was just talking to a co-worker that if I were to do a Master's degree it would be in HCI- Human computer interaction, and learn some programming. Indutrial design really trains students well in design thinking, so that we can design the physical world, and come up with ideas.
For example back in 2003 I had an idea for a touch screen 3G telephone (which unfortunately I only have a thumbnail of from the waybackmachine). I am sure that a 100 other students had the idea too, but none of us had the wherewithal to implement the idea. So it is not enough that you have an idea, you need to have the tools or staff to implement that idea. Many schools teach that you need a well rounded education, but I always feel that that is never deep enough. There are too many idiosynchrosies in the tools that we use.
Guys like this really impress me- able to combine physical and software design to create elegant solutions.
So many things to learn....