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Report: Microsoft to Buy Motion Sensing Tech

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 6 comments

Reports from last week pointed at Microsoft acquiring Israeli startup 3DV Systems for its motion-sensing camera technology.

According to the initial report from Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Microsoft is negotiating a $35 million purchase of 3DV Systems, though neither company is willing to offer any confirmation or denial of the deal.

3DV System’s technology is based off of camera systems called ZCams which are able to measure depth in captured subjects. The sensed movements captured by the camera are then translated into input information, which could be applied directly into games.

Motion-controlled games now shouldn’t be a radical idea, with Nintendo having taken the idea and turned it into a part of the Wiis monstrous success.

Despite being powered by less advanced hardware, the Wii has ran away from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 partially due to its innovative, easy to play control scheme. Microsoft’s purchase of a type of motion-controller scheme is likely a response to Nintendo’s success in the mainstream market.

VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi described the 3DV Systems ZCam device from his own hands-on as similar to the PlayStation EyeToy, which translated on-camera movement to game inputs, but that it was more accurate in motion sensory than the Wii controller.

“When I did a demo of the technology, I was able to control a game just by waving my arms around. I could fly a plane by pretending to hold a joystick and also box against a virtual fighter by throwing punches toward the camera,” wrote Takahashi. “The motion detection was accurate, much more so than with the Wii, which uses relatively cheap but primitive accelerometers and infrared technology for motion detection.”

Microsoft could also apply this technology for applications other than games, such as to remotely control media center content. With Microsoft already exploring alternative interfaces such as Surface, which require touching a flat table top, it’s possible that the software giant could also be looking at making sense of hands waving about in the air.

Hopefully we’ll hear more about Microsoft and 3DV Systems soon.

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  • 0 Hide
    grieve , February 23, 2009 9:56 PM
    Quote:
    “When I did a demo of the technology, I was able to control a game just by waving my arms around. I could fly a plane by pretending to hold a joystick and also box against a virtual fighter by throwing punches toward the camera


    Use this technology for a Television remote!
    Give the TV the bird and voila, a remote appears on the screen… then use whatever body motions to strike the buttons.
    No more lost remotes.


    I should have patent that before posting it...
  • 0 Hide
    Tekkamanraiden , February 24, 2009 12:05 AM
    grieveUse this technology for a Television remote!Give the TV the bird and voila, a remote appears on the screen… then use whatever body motions to strike the buttons.No more lost remotes.I should have patent that before posting it...


    I really like your idea. Better patent that quickly :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow of Dawn , February 24, 2009 12:33 AM
    grieveUse this technology for a Television remote!Give the TV the bird and voila, a remote appears on the screen… then use whatever body motions to strike the buttons.No more lost remotes.I should have patent that before posting it...


    haha....sorry but it looks like somebody already has the idea http://www.popsci.com/gear-amp-gadgets/article/2009-02/finger-flickin’-good
  • Display all 6 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    smalltime0 , February 24, 2009 8:13 AM
    Report: Microsoft to Buy Motion Sensing Tech
    should be
    "Report: The Empire strikes back"

    Im impressed at how much competition Microsoft is bringing to the game console market.... if only that was translated to the software market.
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , February 24, 2009 1:43 PM
    Shadow of Dawnhaha....sorry but it looks like somebody already has the idea http://www.popsci.com/gear-amp-gad [...] ckin’-good

    Awesome lol!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 7, 2009 2:51 AM
    I would argue that MS is starting to bring competition to the software market.
    Windows 7, Office 2007, Home Server and the Zune softrware are all examples of MS picking up its game. Personally i am excited by this tech and looking forward to controlling my PC/Xbox Minority Report style.