Microsoft has acquired Canesta, which designs microchips that it says enable computers to see images in three dimensions, according to the privately-held Sunnyvale, California-based company.
The purchase comes as Microsoft prepares to launch its Kinect motion-controller next month, hoping to spark sales of its xBox video game consoles. Buying Canesta, whose technology focuses mainly on consumer applications, suggests Microsoft is already eyeing more and better movement-recognition products down the line for its video game system as well as other applications.
Kinect’s camera-based system, built into cameras, lets players control games with body and hand gestures, letting gamers ditch the hand-held controllers they have been tied to for decades.
Canesta says its CMOS 3-D chips gives everyday devices 3-D perception better than competing technology.
“Products based on this capability can then react on sight to the actions or motions of individuals and objects in their field of view,” Canesta says.