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October 30, 2010

Microsoft motion control coming to Windows?

by John_A

Say what you like about Microsoft Kinect; we’ve wanted to breeze through with a swish of the hand since we saw Tom Cruise controlling his computer that way in Minority Report way back in 2002.

Happily, it seems Microsoft feels the same way, announcing yesterday that it has just purchased Silicon Valley-based gesture recognition company Canesta, which makes chips that can allow computers with attached cameras to perceive depth and see in three dimensions. The goal is a more grown-up version of Microsoft’s Kinect, which could be used to control your PC without the need for any additional peripherals.

Far from limited to computers, however, Canesta’s mission is to put intelligent cameras into all kinds of everyday appliances including cars, televisions and mobiles.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer commented recently that he is “excited to be way out in front and want to push the pedal on [gesture control]”. No word on when we expect to ditch the mouse and keyboard on our home computers, but we’ll be keeping our ear close to the ground on this one.

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