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Kinect Technology Shrinks to Smartphone & Tablet Sizes

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PrimeSense the company behind the technology in the Xbox Kinect wants to bring the same type of motion sensing technology to smartphones and tablets with its new Capri sensor.

The company recently released a video of its next generation of sensing technology with applications in everything from store window TV displays to tablets and smartphones.

Powering the motion sensor in each of those devices is the new Capri sensor which is one-tenth the size of the sensor used in the Kinect.

The Capri sensor can fit into smartphones and tablets, letting users control their devices without actually touching them.

The technology could put Kinect-like gaming into mobile devices. Playing games with the sensor will likely require a stand for the mobile device, but paired with a way to mirror content on a TV (such as an Apple TV of DIAL device), it could bring motion games like Kinect Adventures to any Capri-equipped device.

As the video shows, the technology can also let users flip through presentations from a smartphone or tablet with a simple swipe, freeing their hands for other things. The PrimeSense Capri sensor can also scan faces reliably, which could make face unlock in smartphone more reliable.PrimeSense_Capri-Gum

Like the Kinect sensor, the Capri sensor can only view objects in black and white, so features like the virtual closet in the video are impossible with just the Capri sensor. Once the technology is inside mobile devices, developers still need to find ways to figure out a way to make all the uses in the video work.

PrimeSense says the Capri sensor will be ready for order by smartphone manufacturers by mid-to-late-2013. There’s no telling how it would take those manufacturers to put the technology into their smartphones. The technology likely won’t reach consumer devices until sometime in 2014.

Shawn is a tech junkie who spends most of his time reading and writing about it. You can follow him on Twitter, @shawn_i.

1 Comment

  1. stinkycat47

    01/25/2013 at 2:05 am

    Hey Shawn, two corrections to the text:
    1 – Like the Kinect sensor, the Capri sensor DOESN’T only view objects in black and white. For starters, Kinect has an RGB camera (thus color images) and second, what both the cameras share is the depth sensor, which doesn’t give you a black and white image. The software builds a matrix of (gradient) grayscale (which can be translated into different colours, look up openNI) depending on the distance of the point to the sensor in each respective pixel.

    2 – PrimeSense will not only sell this to the smartphone industry, but to any electronics manufacturer as long as they can buy a big lot of Capris.

    Otherwise, good article :)

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