Qualcomm just announced the acquisition of certain IP assets from GestureTek, a company working on gesture recognition technology. It’s not clear at this point exactly which assets Qualcomm has acquired, but the company did say the acquisition gives them access to gesture recognition technology, as well as “key engineering resources.”
GestureTek, which has been around since 1986, develops and licenses gesture recognition software based on computer vision techniques. The company has worked on many popular consumer products like the Xbox 360, PlayStation and others.
At this moment, we don’t know what Qualcomm plans to do with GestureTek’s technology. However, the company mentioned in its press release that it has plans to integrate this technology into Qualcomm’s “current and next-generation Snapdragon.” Android phones and tablets quickly come to mind, but Qualcomm seems to have bigger plans for another kind of Android device: Google TV.
In fact, Qualcomm explicitly mentions how this technology will allow OEMs to build “home entertainment devices with user interfaces based on natural human gestures.” Key phrase here being “home entertainment devices.” Couple this with the fact that Ice Cream Sandwich will bring some pretty cool motion tracking features, and you can clearly see a “Kinect-killer” in the making here.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is basically the biggest competitor Google TV has. The device, deservedly so, is quite popular among gamers. And the introduction of the Kinect has obviously made it attractive to regular consumers as well. The Xbox 360 brand is so strong, in fact, that Microsoft is leveraging the device’s popularity to market its moribund phone platform. Even though, integration between the two is only an inch deep.
On the other hand, Google TV is–as it stands right now–not very loved by the average consumer and even less so by gamers. But if you look closely, you can see how the pieces are starting to fall together to make Google TV an awesome video gaming platform. One of those pieces is OnLive, and you can expect the cloud gaming service to find its way to Google TV in the near future. However, that still leaves a pretty big hole in the whole gesture-based gaming section. That’s where GestureTek’s technology comes in.
Interestingly, HTC is a big supporter of OnLive. And as everyone knows, HTC and Qualcomm are best friends forever. We even think of the two as one company sometimes. Could we see an HTC Google TV device in the future powered by GestureTek’s technology? We can only dream at this point.Show Press Release
SAN DIEGO, July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that it has acquired certain assets from GestureTek, a developer of gesture recognition technology. A leader in the gesture recognition field, GestureTek has more than 25 years of experience implementing gesture-based technologies in mobile devices, entertainment facilities, healthcare systems, retail locations, and public and private venues. The acquisition gives Qualcomm ownership of certain intellectual property assets related to gesture recognition, as well as key engineering resources. GestureTek is retaining other assets in continuation of its gesture-controlled public display and digital signage business.
“Applications processors are enabling a range of new ways for consumers to interface with their home entertainment and mobile devices,” said Steve Mollenkopf, executive vice president and group president, Qualcomm. “Our acquisition of key technology and assets from GestureTek will strengthen Qualcomm’s smartphone product portfolio and enable our customers to launch products with new and compelling user experiences.”
Gesture recognition technology will be integrated into Qualcomm’s current and next-generation Snapdragon™ processors, giving OEMs the capability to produce smartphones, tablets and home entertainment devices with user interfaces based on natural human gestures.