Oct 312010
 
Image representing Canesta as depicted in Crun...
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Prepare for Windows 8: Minority Report Edition

Microsoft said on Friday that it was buying Canesta, a small Silicon Valley company that specializes in gesture-recognition technology.

Interest in this technology has surged because it lets people control computers and other devices through hand movements and other bodily gyrations, in similar fashion to the systems depicted in futuristic films like “Minority Report.”

Canesta makes chips that, when coupled with a digital camera, give all manner of devices a sense of depth perception for the world around them, letting them “see” in three dimensions.

Neither company disclosed the financial terms.

Next month, Microsoft will begin shipping Kinect, a $150 add-on for its Xbox gaming consoles, which uses gesture recognition to allow people to play games with body motions instead of controllers. Players flick through menus with waves of the hand and then move to make their on-screen avatars run, jump, duck, swing and dance. The 3-D technology in Kinect is from PrimeSense, a Canesta rival.

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