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Wow, the YouTube video was released in November. How have I never seen it before? I've probably watched it three times in the past hour. It's an absolutely amazing production. What was the budget for this?
Sony acquired Softkinetic, the leading provider for 3D vision technology for their specialization in motion and positioning sensing to get ready for the upcoming battle for VR dominance. Each company is doing whatever they can to get that extra edge to win over the consumers.
Softkinetic produces hardware and software that’s been used in commercial motion tracking and they’ve been doing demos for its body-tracking tech since 2009 for the entertainment industry. The company has been developing technology that measures ‘time of flight’ (ToF) which basically can measure the distance of an object by bouncing light off it. This is a technique that’s used to track movements of people with a camera.
In a release Sony made about the acquisition, they stated that “Tof is a method for resolving the distance to an object. ToF distance measurement pixels, which are laid on top of the sensor in two dimensions, measure the flight time (delay) it takes for light to leave the light source, reflect off the object, and return to the image sensor.”
They also said that they will focus on combining Softkinetic’s ToF range image sensor technology expertise with Sony’s own technologies to develop a new generation of range image sensors and solutions for broader sensing-related applications.
It’s unclear if this acquisition means that Sony will work towards replacing current combination of PlayStation Eye camera and Move tech which powers motion sensing. It doesn’t seem that likely that it will be ready by launch in early 2016.