Kinect-like peripheral for PCs coming this year

A company that licensed 3D sensing technology for Microsoft partnering with ASUS to bring Kinect-like peripheral to PCs

I'm betting most of you don't know Kinect's 3D sensing technology isn't owned by Microsoft. The company that does resides in Israel, and they're called PrimeSense. They've been around since 2005, and describe themselves as "a fabless semiconductor company that revolutionizes the way digital devices see the world." Their fancy name for that 3D sensing tech? "PrimeSense Immersive Natural Interaction."

And later this year, they're planning to release it in a Kinect-like peripheral for PC.

The twist: They're partnering with PC parts maker ASUS to bring it to market, not Microsoft, the goal being to make using PCs in more casual areas like the living room more palatable. It's designed to operate using ultra-wide band wireless.

The other less alluring twist: It'll be called WAVI Xtion (space intended). I'm not sure how that's supposed to be vocalized. I want to say "Wavestation," but that's a Korg keyboard from the early 1990s (one I used to own, incidentally). And I'm thinking phonetical, e.g. "WAV-ee-EX-shun," not so much.

We'll probably get the proper pronunciation this week at CES in Las Vegas this week, where the device is on display and presumably available to try out. Preliminary applications include browsing multimedia content as well as Internet access and social networking.

The companion piece is something called Xtion PRO, a PC-exclusive software development kit for 3D sensing applications. PrimeSense and ASUS are also planning an Xtion online app store.

WAVI Xtion should be available in second quarter 2011, while Xtion PRO will be available already next month.

What does this mean for the growing number of Kinect-PC hacks? And what about Microsoft's own hypothetical Kinect-PC designs? It's unclear whether Microsoft's agreement with PrimeSense limits its use of the technology to the Xbox 360, or whether WAVI Xtion's intended to include PC gaming.

All we know at this point is that the press release emphasizes "controlling digital entertainment devices in the living room," including PCs, but also TVs and set-top boxes.

Keep tabs on us with Twitter (@game_on)

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags peripheralsGame platformsMicrosoftgaminggamesXboxInput devices

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?