Wed, Jan 05, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Asus, PrimeSense to provide motion controls for PCs

AP, SAN FRANCISCO

If you’ve been wishing you could ditch your clunky computer mouse and control your PC with gestures — the way you can using Microsoft Corp’s Kinect motion controller for the Xbox 360 gaming console — computer maker Asustek expects to have a solution for you this year.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) and PrimeSense Ltd, an Israeli company whose 3D camera is a core part of Kinect, said on Monday that they’re working to let users gesture to surf the Web, check social networks and control videos on their PC or a TV connected to a PC.

Kinect uses a 3D camera, depth sensors and voice-recognition software to recognize faces, voices and gestures as users move around and talk, without requiring them to hold a controller or wear a headset.

As a result, users can control on-screen characters in video games simply by talking or moving their body.

If Kinect’s success is any indication, Asustek could be on to something. Microsoft released Kinect in November and said it sold 2.5 million of the sensors in the first 25 days it was available.

Asustek and PrimeSense will show off the technology at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. The companies plan to enable motion controls on PCs in the second quarter of the year through an accessory called the WAVI Xtion, which combines an Asustek user interface with PrimeSense’s 3D technology.

Asustek did not say how much WAVI Xtion will cost.

The Taiwanese company is also using PrimeSense technology in a product for software developers called Xtion PRO. To be released next month, Xtion PRO will let developers make applications that incorporate gesture controls.

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