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Microsoft's 3DV acquisition a go

Digital depth detection

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Microsoft is going ahead with its purchase of 3D real-time depth detection digital camera company 3DV, as reported at the beginning of April.

The controlling shareholder of Israel-based 3DV, IDB Holding Corporation's Elron Electronic Industries and its subsidiary, Rafael Development Corporation, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the purchase of their 43 per cent stake in 3DV to an undisclosed company, thought to be Microsoft, for about $7m. That implies 3DV is worth $16.3m. Other sources indicate the deal, expected to close in the second quarter of this year, is worth $34m.

It's reported that, sadly, 3DV is sacking most of its 40 staff, meaning that 3DV's intellectual property will go to Redmond and be further developed there, not in Israel.

The expectation is that Microsoft's Xbox 360 could use the technology, overtaking both Sony and Nintendo, which already have motion-sensing technologies, so that users could play games with gestures made in front of a camera. There are also obvious possibilities for Windows-based notebooks fitted with web cams, and for Microsoft's Surface with its touch-screen, gesture-sensing technology. ®

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