Imagine if all the headaches that currently define our relationships with our devices disappeared, and humans and devices could finally coexist in harmony. Thanks to one company, that world will soon be at our fingertips. Which is all to say, PrimeSense is sure to be a name you need to know in 2011.
The Israel-based company’s flagship product is a microchip that hears sounds and reads real-world motions and translates them into a 3D grid that devices can process. Founded in 2005, PrimeSense gained prominence last March when Microsoft announced it would be using its sensing technology in Kinect, its 3D videogame system.
…Last month, a hardware hacking company, Adafruit, offered a $1,000 bounty to anyone who could supply open source drivers for the Kinect device and provide a video proving their code worked. When Microsoft threatened legal action against anyone daring to fiddle with its Kinect hardware, Adafruit raised the stakes to $2,000— and later $3,000.
Just a week later, Adafruit had coined a winner and the OpenKinect community was born. Now using the open source code, enterprising hackers have jerry-rigged everything from virtual piano keyboards that let users play the piano anywhere, to an application for 3D drawings and digital puppeteering.