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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

PrimeSense's Kinect Technology Finds a New Home on the PC

As you may recall from our past Kinect coverage, the technology behind Microsoft’s motion control system comes from Israeli company PrimeSense. PrimeSense is ready to step out of the shadows at this year’s CES and put its Immersive Natural Reaction system to work in a brand new product: the WAVI Xtion. It’s the PC’s turn to get in on the motion recognition fun, and this time ASUS is stepping into Microsoft’s shoes.

WAVI Xtion is a “”next generation user interface device developed by ASUS to extend PC usage to the living room.” Though gaming is a part of the experience, it's not entirely the focus of the device. ASUS aims to bring those full-body Kinect interactions to the PC and change how we interact with media and the web.

The WAVI Xtion is hardly the first device to push the PC experience into the living room. Between Internet TVs, Home Theater PCs, and media streamers, there’s always something trying to mash the couch and the PC together. WAVI Xtion is the next to try its hand: “The WAVI Xtion media center for the PC leverages ultra-wide band wireless link and PrimeSense 3D sensing solution to provide controller-free interaction experiences in the living room. Users can browse multimedia content, access the Internet and social networks, and enjoy full body interaction in a more user-friendly and natural living room experience.”

Essentially, two WAVI units--one connected to your PC, the other hooked up to the living room TV--transmit data over the 5GHz spectrum. The Xtion sits in front of your TV and does its best Kinect impression, enabling gesture controls for the Xtion Portal media center and whatever other apps you choose to run.

In a smart move that might cash in on the popularity of Kinect hacks, ASUS plans to launch Xtion PRO development tools in February to promote the creation of Xtion software. Developers will be able to sell their apps in an Xtion store.

We expect to see more of the WAVI Xtion as CES kicks off; hopefully ASUS’ first move will be giving us a pronunciation guide.

Images via UberGizmo, VG247

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