PrimeSense provides some of the brains behind Microsoft's Kinect, and wants a bigger piece of the pie; ASUS has a reputation for announcing wonderfully wacky peripherals every year. At CES 2011, the Wavi Xtion will check off both boxes nicely. In a nutshell, the Xtion is a PrimeSense 3D depth camera built exclusively for PC, but with an important twist -- it connects to a pair of ASUS Wavi boxes, which wirelessly streams its data to your living room PC between your TV and a Windows PC over the 5GHz band. Oh, and should ASUS attract enough developers, it will even pull down applications from an Xtion online store. ASUS says we'll see the package commercially available around the world in Q2 of next year -- with a UI and selection of apps and games on board -- but they'll release an Xtion PRO developer kit in February to tempt all you Kinect hackers into coding magical things for the platform. No more details for now, but there's an event in Vegas this week where ASUS is all but guaranteed to show it off. PR after the break.

Update: Did we say HTPC? Turns out it doesn't quite work that way -- the Wavi are actually a pair of boxes that wirelessly sling data between them. You put the Xtion sensor on top of your TV, connect it to Wavi #1, then plug Wavi #2 into a PC up to 25 meters away. Mind you, it looks like the Xtion may not be quite as capable as Microsoft's unit, as there's only infrared hardware inside -- it might be fine for gesture control, but don't expect any augmented reality lightsaber fights. See some mockups below!
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ASUS and PrimeSense Wavi Xtion and Xtion Pro press images

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PrimeSense Teams Up with ASUS to Bring Intuitive PC Entertainment to the Living Room with WAVI Xtion

WAVI Xtion extends PC multimedia content and gesture control from the PC to the TV screen in Q2 2011


TEL AVIV and TAIPEI – 3 January 2011 -- PrimeSense, the leader in sensing and recognition technologies, and ASUS, a leading enterprise in the new digital era, announced today that PrimeSense Immersive Natural Interaction™ solutions will be embedded in WAVI Xtion, a next generation user interface device developed by ASUS to extend PC usage to the living room. WAVI Xtion is scheduled to be commercially available during Q2 2011 and released worldwide in phases.

The WAVI Xtion media center for the PC leverages ultra-wide band wireless link and PrimeSense 3D sensing solution to provide controller-free interaction experiences in the living room. Users can browse multimedia content, access the Internet and social networks, and enjoy full body interaction in a more user-friendly and natural living room experience.

In addition to WAVI Xtion, ASUS also adopts PrimeSense solutions to introduce the world's first PC-exclusive 3D sensing professional development solution, Xtion PRO, for software developers to easily create their own gesture-based applications and software. Xtion PRO is scheduled to be commercially available in February 2011. Developers will also have the chance to sell their applications on the upcoming Xtion online Store.

PrimeSense and ASUS will introduce WAVI Xtion and Xtion PRO at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), January 6-9 in Las Vegas. It can be viewed in the PrimeSense booth (South Hall 4, upper level, Booth #36255) and at the ASUS suite (Venetian Ballroom, Level 3, San Polo 3501A and 3501B).

"Our agreement with ASUS for developing WAVI Xtion demonstrates that Natural Interaction technology is already mainstream," said Inon Beracha, CEO, PrimeSense. "This user interface is a new paradigm that represents how all CE products will eventually be naturally controlled and operated."

"ASUS combines its wireless cross-room solution with PrimeSense's simple, intuitive, gesture-based control technology to allow users to enjoy and share PC content on TV with gestures. WAVI Xtion is the unprecedented living room experience that will revolutionize users' recreational lives," said Kent Chien, General Manager, ASUS. "Natural Interaction's appeal to consumers means more monetization opportunities based on personalization, various branding and advertising programs inside applications."

PrimeSense and ASUS are also working together to promote and support the OpenNI developer community with developer kits. PrimeSense's open, smart platform and hardware/software API lets publishers and developers easily apply 3D-sensing technology to a variety of applications and create new Natural Interaction content.

PrimeSense and ASUS are at the forefront of the Natural Interaction movement for controlling digital entertainment devices in the living room - such as the TV, set-top box and PC. This next generation of user interface is bringing together the entire ecosystem of the human sensory experience and closing the gap between humans and machines.

-Continued-

About PrimeSense

PrimeSense is the leader in sensing and recognition solutions, enabling consumer devices to "see" environments and allowing users to control and interact naturally with those devices in a simple and intuitive way. PrimeSense offers affordable solutions for consumer markets including visual/home computing, interactive entertainment and consumer electronics. PrimeSense products include the PS1080 System on Chip and NITE middleware, as well as the PrimeSense3D sensor, plus cross-platform enabling software to make application development easy and intuitive. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, with offices in North America, Japan, Singapore, Korea, China and Taiwan, PrimeSense is a privately held company. For more information, please visit: www.primesense.com or follow on Twitter @goprimesense.

About ASUS

ASUS, the world's top 3 consumer notebook vendor and the maker of the world's bestselling and most award winning motherboards, is a leading enterprise in the new digital era. ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today's digital home, office and person, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, displays, desktop PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia, wireless solutions, networking devices and mobile phones. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 3,268 awards in 2009, and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with the Eee PC. With a global staff of more than ten thousand people and a world-class R&D team of 3,000 engineers, the company's revenue for 2009 was US$7.5 billion.

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PrimeSense and ASUS team, bring Kinect-like Wavi Xtion to your living room TV (update)