Microsoft has acquired Canesta, which designs microchips that it says enable computers to see images in three dimensions.
The move comes after the software Imperium prepares to launch its Kinect motion-controller. It is hoping to make a killing on its xBox video game consoles and buying Canesta, whose technology focuses mainly on consumer applications, suggests Microsoft is already eyeing more and better movement-recognition systems in the future.
Kinect’s camera-based system, built into cameras, lets players control games with body and hand gestures, letting gamers ditch the hand-held controllers. Canesta's CMOS 3-D chips is supposed to give much better 3-D perception which can react on sight to the actions or motions of individuals and objects in their field of view.
Honda has invested $5 million in Canesta to develop 3-D technology to help drivers park their cars and avoid collisions. Hitachi is also using it to create a television controlled by hand gestures instead of a remote control. Over a year ago, Microsoft announced it was working on Kinect but it remains to be seen how well it will be accepted by consumers.