Microsoft buys Canesta, continues camera-based domination of our interfaces

It seems that Microsoft's taken the camera to heart following its dismissal of the pen -- the company bought 3DV, collaborated with PrimeSense on Kinect, and today it's apparently finalized a deal to acquire 3D CMOS camera chipmaker Canesta as well. In case you've already forgotten, the latter company is the one that made an paid actor look particularly smug last year, by allowing the gent to control his television with a flick of the wrist. Things have progressed a good bit further than that, however, as you'll see in a demo video after the break, and Canesta president and CEO Jim Spare says he expects the company's stuffs to "see wide adoption across many applications that embody the full potential of the technology" under Microsoft's reign. Press release after the break.

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SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA – October 29, 2010 – Canesta, Inc. today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to have its products, technology, intellectual property, customer contracts, and other resources acquired by the Microsoft Corporation. Canesta is a leader in 3-D sensing technologywhich is critical to making Natural User Interfaces (NUI) possible.

According to Jim Spare, Canesta president and CEO, "This is very exciting news for the industry. There is little question that within the next decade we will see natural user interfaces become common for input across all devices. With Microsoft's breadth of scope from enterprise to consumer products, market presence, and commitment to NUI, we are confident that our technology will see wide adoption across many applications that embody the full potential of the technology."

Canesta is the inventor of a leading single chip 3-D sensing technology platform and a large body of intellectual property. With 44 patents granted to date and dozens more on file, 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.

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