Kinect-like peripheral for PCs coming this year

A company that licensed 3D sensing technology for Microsoft partnering with ASUS to bring Kinect-like peripheral to PCs

I'm betting most of you don't know Kinect's 3D sensing technology isn't owned by Microsoft. The company that does resides in Israel, and they're called PrimeSense. They've been around since 2005, and describe themselves as "a fabless semiconductor company that revolutionizes the way digital devices see the world." Their fancy name for that 3D sensing tech? "PrimeSense Immersive Natural Interaction."

And later this year, they're planning to release it in a Kinect-like peripheral for PC.

The twist: They're partnering with PC parts maker ASUS to bring it to market, not Microsoft, the goal being to make using PCs in more casual areas like the living room more palatable. It's designed to operate using ultra-wide band wireless.

The other less alluring twist: It'll be called WAVI Xtion (space intended). I'm not sure how that's supposed to be vocalized. I want to say "Wavestation," but that's a Korg keyboard from the early 1990s (one I used to own, incidentally). And I'm thinking phonetical, e.g. "WAV-ee-EX-shun," not so much.

We'll probably get the proper pronunciation this week at CES in Las Vegas this week, where the device is on display and presumably available to try out. Preliminary applications include browsing multimedia content as well as Internet access and social networking.

The companion piece is something called Xtion PRO, a PC-exclusive software development kit for 3D sensing applications. PrimeSense and ASUS are also planning an Xtion online app store.

WAVI Xtion should be available in second quarter 2011, while Xtion PRO will be available already next month.

What does this mean for the growing number of Kinect-PC hacks? And what about Microsoft's own hypothetical Kinect-PC designs? It's unclear whether Microsoft's agreement with PrimeSense limits its use of the technology to the Xbox 360, or whether WAVI Xtion's intended to include PC gaming.

All we know at this point is that the press release emphasizes "controlling digital entertainment devices in the living room," including PCs, but also TVs and set-top boxes.

Keep tabs on us with Twitter (@game_on)

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags peripheralsGame platformsMicrosoftgaminggamesXboxInput devices

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?