Canesta, manufacturer of CMOS-based single chip 3D sensors, announced it has signed a deal to be acquired by technology giant Microsoft. Last year end the company raised $16 million in funding from investors Carlysle Venture Partners, Venrock and Honda. Honda plans to use Canesta's technology in its future cars to detect and avoid obstacles.
The acquisition is expected to be completed before the end of this year.
Canesta Inc. declared that it has signed a definitive agreement to have its products, technology, intellectual property, customer contracts, and other resources acquired by the Microsoft Corporation. Canesta is located in Sunnyvale, CA.
According to Jim Spare, Canesta president and CEO, "This is very exciting news for the industry. There is little question that within the next decade we will see natural user interfaces become common for input across all devices. With Microsoft's breadth of scope from enterprise to consumer products, market presence, and commitment to NUI, we are confident that our technology will see wide adoption across many applications that embody the full potential of the technology." He further added, "There is little question that within the next decade we will see natural user interfaces become common for input across all devices."
Canesta's technology is used to create natural user interfaces (NUI), by means of which, consumer electronic devices respond to the actions or motions of their users (for example, controlling a TV only with hand gestures).
Canesta is the inventor of a leading single chip 3-D sensing technology platform and a large body of intelligent material. This company has 44 patents granted to date and several still on file, and has also achieved breakthroughs in many areas vital to natural user interface, across many platforms. The invention of standard CMOS 3-D sensing pixels, fundamental innovations in semiconductor devices, mixed-signal IC chip design, optics, signal processing algorithms, and computer vision software, to name a few.
Canesta's 3-D input technology, based upon tiny, CMOS 3-D imaging chips or "sensors", enables fine-grained, 3-dimensional depth-perception for a broad spectrum of applications. Though Canesta's focus is on mass market consumer electronics, many of its applications exist in other markets as well.
The move might affect the evolution of Microsoft NUIs in both Kinect and its next operating system Windows 8.