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Microsoft buys EyeToy tech contributor Canesta

Confirms deal to pick up successful motion sensor chip-maker by the end of the year

US motion sensor developer Canesta has confirmed an agreement to be acquired by Microsoft.

The Xbox maker will assume ownership of the Californian firm by the end of this year, though no figures have been revealed as yet.

Canesta's primary product is a single-chip 3D-sensing system, allowing hardware devices to react on sight to nearby motion.

The tech is apparently capable of three dimensional depth perception, fuelling speculation that it could be used to expand the capabilities of Kinect.

An earlier version of its technology was used in the PlayStation 2 EyeToy camera, while the company has also provided its chips to the likes of Honda (for cars to auto-detect dangers) and Hitachi (for gesture-controlled TVs).

"This is very exciting news for the industry," claimed Canesta CEO Jim Spare. "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."

Canesta was founded in 1999, and has seen several significant rounds of investment since – including $16 million last year.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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