Microsoft has, as you’re all aware by now, the Kinect system on the way. In the unit are several cameras - two that sense the player and their motions and a third for screenshots etc. So it should be no surprise that Microsoft is looking to buy up Canesta, which makes 3D-sensing technology. It’s a good move on their part. With Microsoft hanging its motion-gaming hopes on Kinect (which I think will be the winner in this round) it needs to start looking at ways to improve and enhance for future versions. Canesta can certainly help them do that and it’s a good acquisition I think.
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. Designed to the specific requirements of a given application or set of applications, Camera Modules made with Canesta’s 3D image sensor chips are small and cost effective in high volume.
To support rapid prototyping, software development, and module design-in efforts, Canesta also provides Development Kits that include a 3D Camera and a PC-based software development kit.
Since Canesta’s software starts with a three-dimensional view of the world, provided "for free" by the hardware, it has a substantial advantage over classical image processing software that struggles to construct three-dimensional representations using complex mathematics, and using images from multiple cameras or points of view. This significant reduction in complexity makes it possible to embed the application-independent portion of the processing software directly into the chips themselves so they may be used in the most modestly-priced, and even pocket-sized, electronic devices. In addition, it accounts for the remarkable ability of the technology to compute 3-dimensional image maps at more than 50 frames per second; remarkable compared to existing technology that can take from several seconds to several minutes to generate a 3-dimensional representation of a single, static frame.
This acquisition will certainly work to further expand the Kinect abilities and precision. Right now I don’t know that I would like to play any type of shooting game with the units and if this works to give some pinpoint accuracy in 3-D space or even just improve precision overall, then I’m all for it.