Asus demos Kinect-style gesture tech for PC

Can Asus' new PC gesture tech take on the might of Microsoft's Kinect?
Can Asus' new PC gesture tech take on the might of Microsoft's Kinect?

In what is one of the more interesting gaming-related announcements from this month's CeBit event in Hanover, Asus has been demonstrating its new PC-based gesture-controlled technology.

Asus clearly hopes that its new PrimeSense-developed WAVI Xtion product is going to appeal to the legions of casual gamers who own PCs, but perhaps don't own or regularly play on a home console in their lounge.

PrimeSensed for action

PrimeSense is the company that collaborated with Microsoft on the development of the first generation of Kinect for Xbox 360, so the company has decent form in this field.

WAVI stands for 'Wireless Audio Visual Interaction' transmitter and receiver – with the transmitting side, which is connected to the sensor and your TV or PC monitor, pushing/pulling the signal, via AMIMON WHDI technology to a WAVI receiver connected to your laptop or desktop PC

The Xtion – 'Wave to Action' – section of Asus' new tech looks a lot like Microsoft's Kinect, and is able to track user's movements from from 0.8m through to 3.5m away.

Keep fit and racing games announced

"WAVI Xtion integrates motion-sensing technology from PrimeSense with the exclusive ASUS Xtion Portal user interface to bring consumers closer to technology through intuitive interaction with applications," explains Asus CeBit release.

"Connections to both PCs and TVs via wireless HDMI (WHDI technology) deliver smooth transfers of high definition content such as movies, games and photos in 5GHz with a range of up to 25 meters."

Initial software releases set to run on Asus' new gesture-tech include MayaFit Cardio Lite, a motion-sensing fitness training game and BeatBooster, "a multiplayer racing adventure game where users maneuver jet aircraft with their body movements."

PrimeSense CEO Inon Beracha said of the latest gesture tech: "Our collaboration with ASUS in providing a 3D sensing solution for WAVI Xtion proves to the industry that natural interaction technology is the ideal fit for living rooms, and that intuitive, gesture-based control will be the go-to route for operating all devices.

"We believe that PrimeSense solutions like the user interface used on ASUS' WAVI Xtion represent the future of the way people interact with consumer electronics, and help break down barriers of use to allow people to sync with the electronic world around them."

Asus is set to sell games and apps for its new gesture technology via its own online store and is already making an Xtion Pro developer kit ("the world's first professional PC motion-sensing toolset") available to interested third party developers.

TechRadar expects to hear more on pricing and release dates from Asus very soon, so stay tuned for updates on that front.

Adam Hartley