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Asus Using Kinect-like PrimeSense Tech For 'Living Room' PC Interface

Computer hardware maker Asus has announced it'll be teaming up with Kinect hardware maker PrimeSense to bring a similar controller-free, natural motion interface to a PC-based living room system later this year.
Computer hardware maker Asus has announced it'll be teaming up with Kinect hardware maker PrimeSense to bring a similar controller-free, natural motion interface to a PC-based living room system later this year. The WAVI Xtion system will use a dual camera sensor -- similar to that used in the Xbox 360's Kinect -- that's designed to hook up to a living room TV and connect wirelessly to a PC up to 25 meters away. Using the system, Asus promises users will be able to browse PC multimedia, internet and gaming content from the comfort of their living room using nothing but their body movement. Asus is targeting a 2nd quarter 2011 commercial release for the setup, though a "Pro" software development kit is being readied for February release. The company is also readying an online store for distribution of Xtion-powered software. “Our agreement with ASUS for developing WAVI Xtion demonstrates that Natural Interaction technology is already mainstream,” said PrimeSense CEO Inon Beracha. “This user interface is a new paradigm that represents how all CE products will eventually be naturally controlled and operated.” The Xtion development environment is built on top of PrimeSense's OpenNI initiative, a set of open source natural motion middleware and drivers PrimeSense released to the development community last month. Prior to that, hackers had reverse-engineered their own set of drivers that allowed the USB-powered Kinect to be used on a PC. Microsoft has promised their XNA environment will "eventually" support Kinect development. Pricing and hardware capability details for the WAVI Xtion are still unknown, but more details are expected at the Consumer Electronics Show later this week.

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