Canesta developing a 'Project Natal killer'

Canesta developing 'Project Natal killer' tech for TVs, computers, smartphones...
Canesta developing 'Project Natal killer' tech for TVs, computers, smartphones...

Major consumer tech brands and computer manufacturers such as Hitachi and Quanta Computer are looking to use some new motion-sensing controller technology from a new US-based start-up called Canesta, which is developing a 'Project Natal' style body-sensing system for use with PCs and laptops.

Canesta has recently announced that it has raised $16 million in a new round of funding to boost the development of the motion-sensing tech.

One of the major backers of Canesta turns out to be Quanta Computer, the world's largest maker of laptops, which plans to integrate the Natal-style motion control in its computers in the future.

TVs, computers, smartphones...

Just as with Microsoft's Natal technology, Canesta's webcam-style camera detects your movements and then calculates where your body is in 3D space, translating your movements to commands to instruct your laptop to do stuff.

Canesta Chief Exec Jim Spare said the new investment means that its final production chips may well be used in systems as early as late 2010.

Spare also noted that Microsoft's Natal tech, developed by 3DV Systems, is based on gallium arsenide chips that are far more expensive to make than Canesta's chips.

Hitachi is one of the first well-known consumer tech brands to have shown off how Canesta-based systems might be used to control its TV sets with touchless human movements. Canesta has also made comments about the possibilities of integrating their tech into smartphones.

Cherng Chao, Senior Vice President at Quanta, adds: "A natural interface on a PC is as important a breakthrough as was the mouse."

Via Venturebeat

Adam Hartley