Spatial sensing specialist Canesta has announced that it is to be bought up by Microsoft: a clear indicator that the company is serious about the Kinect and related technologies.

In a statement, Canesta's chief executive officer Jim Spare stated that 'with Microsoft’s breadth of scope from enterprise to consumer products, market presence, and commitment to natural user interfaces, we are confident that our technology will see wide adoption across many applications that embody the full potential of the technology.'

Spare went on to claim that 'there is little question that within the next decade we will see natural user interfaces become common for input across all devices,' suggesting that Microsoft has gained a significant lead on its competitors with the development of its Kinect spatial-sensing controller-free add-on for the Xbox 360 console.

If Microsoft is serious about natural user interfaces and spatial sensing technology being the future, the purchase certainly makes sense: Canesta is responsible for the invention of one of the world's most accurate single-chip 3D sensing platforms, but more importantly holds a portfolio of 44 patents related to the technology. Buying the company means that Microsoft can rest assured that the patents won't be used against Kinect, while giving the company a not inconsiderable amount of control over who can enter the market with a competing product.

Neither Canesta nor Microsoft have announced terms of the deal, so it's not yet known how much the company will be parting with to get its hands on the patents.

With Microsoft having already shown off its own spatially-aware sensing technology in both Kinect and its LightSpace technology demonstration platform, it's clear that the company believes the future of both gaming and computing is in waving your arms around.

Do you think that Microsoft's vision of the future of computing is accurate, or should companies be looking elsewhere for the ultimate in user interfaces? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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