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Monday, November 01, 2010
Microsoft Buys CANESTA 3-D Sensor Firm

Canesta has signed a definitive agreement to have its products, technology, intellectual property, customer contracts, and other resources acquired by the Microsoft.

No details of the agreement have been disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

Canesta is developing 3-D sensing technology which is critical to making Natural User Interfaces (NUI) possible.The company is the inventor of a single chip 3-D sensing technology platform and a large body of intellectual property. The company has made breakthroughs in many areas critical to enabling natural user interfaces broadly across many platforms. Some of these include the invention of standard CMOS 3-D sensing pixels, fundamental innovations in semiconductor device physics, mixed-signal IC chip design, optics, signal processing algorithms, and computer vision software.

With Canesta's solutions, a product is able to "see" in 3D. Canesta's principal products are 3D image sensor chips which form the heart of Camera Modules which may be integrated into electronic end-use products from cars to personal computers. The solutions enable hardware makers to add electronic perception technology to their products so they can sense, perceive, interact with, and understand the world around them.

Such tecnhologies could find their way at an upcoming game controller by Microsoft. Microsoft prepares to launch its Kinect motion-controller next month. Buying Canesta 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 is using cameras instead of hand-held controllers to "sense" the players' body and hand gestures during gaming.

Hitachi is also using Canesta?s technology to create a television controlled by hand gestures instead of a remote control.

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