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Asus, PrimeSense to bring motion controls to PCs

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 5:05am
RACHEL METZ - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press

If you've been wishing you could ditch your clunky computer mouse and control your PC with gestures — the way you can using Microsoft Corp.'s Kinect motion controller for the Xbox 360 gaming console — computer maker Asus expects to have a solution for you this year.

Asustek Computer Inc. and PrimeSense Ltd., an Israeli company whose 3-D camera is a core part of Kinect, said Monday that they're working to let users gesture to surf the Web, check social networks and control videos on their PC or a TV connected to your PC.

Kinect uses a 3-D camera, depth sensors and voice-recognition software to recognize your face, voice and gestures as you move around and talk, without requiring you to hold a controller or wear a headset. As a result, you can control on-screen characters in video games simply by talking or moving your body.

If Kinect's success is any indication, Asus could be on to something. Microsoft released Kinect in November and said it sold 2.5 million of the sensors in the first 25 days it was available.

Asus and PrimeSense will show off the technology at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. The companies plan to enable motion controls on PCs in the second quarter of the year through an accessory called the WAVI Xtion, which combines an Asus user interface with PrimeSense's 3-D technology.

Asus did not say how much WAVI Xtion will cost.

Asus is also using PrimeSense technology in a product for software developers called Xtion PRO. To be released in February, Xtion PRO will let developers make applications that incorporate gesture controls.

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