A World of 3D Sensing by PrimeSense screenshot video. Photo: AFP
PrimeSense, the company behind Microsoft's Kinect is developing its motion detection and figure recognition technology for use in smartphones and tablets.
There's little doubt that the Kinect system for Microsoft's Xbox has bought a new level of interaction to gaming. Its 3D sensors and camera allow users to play games via movement, gesture and voice command, rather than simply via a controller. But for PrimeSense, the company that created the technology, gaming is simply the first step into a world of devices, functions and services that respond to gesture and operate via 3D sensing. As the company explains on its blog: "We see that 3D sensing can add functionality and an improved user experience to almost all of today's devices, and we want to make the system capable of that."
To that extent PrimeSense has developed a sensor it calls Capri 1.25 that packs in almost all of the functionality found in Kinect but is nine tenths smaller, small enough to be fitted to a smartphone or tablet. "It's small, smaller than a stick of gum, but that's not really the point, the point is the uses this small sensor can deliver to devices -- 3D sensing right in your phone, in your tablet -- in your life. It is transparent because it will just work, without anyone having to understand how, like magic."
To try and help consumers understand just how revolutionary this technology could be, PrimeSense has made a video to show how everything from cars and robot vacuum cleaners to elevators, powerpoint presentations, wardrobes and even the average person's love life can be improved through Capri 1.25 and its future iterations. And it's not a flight of fancy. The company will be ready to ship the first batches of these potentially revolutionary sensors to handset manufacturers before the end of this year.