After weeks of unofficial hacks, the Kinect motion control technology is coming to PCs in a commercial product. But it’s nothing to do with Microsoft.
ASUS, a manufacturer best known for popularizing the low-cost netbook, says it is working on a motion control system named WAVI Xtion. That’s a combination of Wireless Audio & Video Interaction and a brand name for the motion capture system.
That system is produced by Israeli company Prime Sense, which licensed much of the technology at the heart of Kinect. So the ASUS system will be about as close to Kinect as you can get without a lawsuit.
As well as gaming, the idea is that WAVI Xtion will be used for a variety of PC tasks such as web browsing, for example in homes where a PC is hooked up to a large screen TV and a mouse or keyboard isn’t the most convenient input method.
ASUS also says it will be offering tools to allow third-party developers to produce their own software using the motion control. (There’s even talk of it being built into online gaming, which could spell an end to the image of World of Warcraft as a sedentary activity.) Developers will be able to sell the software directly through a central online store.
The system will get its first public demonstration during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas later this week, at which point pricing may be unveiled. The plan is to release the developer tools next month, with the system itself going on sale some time in late spring or early summer.