Feeds

Microsoft focuses on 3D camera company

Make gestures at your XBox

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.