Microsoft acquires Canesta to boost Kinect 3D abilities

1 Nov 2010

Microsoft has acquired chip manufacturer Canesta in a move that will boost 3D and gesture controls in the company’s forthcoming Kinect games controller and the next operating system Windows 8.

Canesta specialises in 3D sensors that power natural user interfaces (NUIs) that get their commands from human gestures, similar to how the Xbox Kinect functions.

Founded in 1999, Canesta has raised US$60m in funding from investors Carlysle Venture Partners, Venrock and Honda. The company has 44 patents for 3D sensing technologies, processing algorithms and chip design.

Honda plans to use Canesta’s technology in its future cars to detect and avoid obstacles.

The acquisition indicates Microsoft’s plans to integrate more NUIs into future products that extend beyond gaming consoles.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years