Feeds

Microsoft focuses on 3D camera company

Make gestures at your XBox

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft is reported to be buying 3D digital camera company 3DV Systems for $34m, giving it remote gesture recognition technology.

Israel-based 3DV Systems is a venture capital-backed startup that has raised about $38m from investors. The company was founded in 1996 by two Israeli defence industry scientists who had worked on electro-optics technology for missiles. They developed and patented technology that could work out the depth relationships of objects in a digital camera's field of view, in real time with high resolution. This was embodied in a chipset and in the ZCam 3D camera product range, now available in web-cam format.

The DeepC chipset hardware computes the camera's distance from objects it 'sees' using a time-of-flight principle and its technology is described thus: "The Depth information is captured by emitting pulses of infra-red light to all objects in the scene and sensing the reflected light from the surface of each object. All objects in the scene are then arranged in layers according to the distance information sensed by the D pixels in the camera, providing the Depth information in real time as standard black and white video where the grey-level correlates to relative distance. Colour data is provided using a normal colour imaging sensor."

Real time translates to 60 frames per second and the depth resolution is accurate to 1-2cm. The company thinks its technology is appropriate for "PC-based gaming and for background replacement in web-conferencing." One aspect of it is that there is little use made of the host system's CPU.

3DV states that the ZCam: "provides home users [with] revolutionary gesture recognition capabilities in addition to real-time background replacement, enabling them to control video games and personal space through intuitive body gestures and immerse themselves with virtual reality."

The attraction for Microsoft, with its Xbox 360 games console and Surface gesture recognition system, is immediately obvious. XBox360 game players could control the action by moving their hands in front of the device. This would give Microsoft some kind of answer to Nintendo's Wii.

Microsoft said it: "does not comment on rumors or speculation." No-one was available to answer inquiries at 3DV as the employees are away from the office at a company event until Sunday. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.