Softkinetic motion-controlled STB brings Kinect-style tech to HTPC

First ASUS tried to borrow Microsoft's Kinect motion-tracking cleverness for their oddly named WAVI Xtion; now Softkinetic is punting its own gesture-based home entertainment experience. The Softkinetic system uses the company's iisu ("the Interface Is U") 3D gesture recognition software with a 3D/RGB/Audio camera from Optrima to control an Atom CE4100 based STB.

According to Softkinetic, TV viewers will be able to access interactive television and movie channel navigation, web browsing, video conferencing and gesture-based video games, all using natural gestures and movements. The Optrima OptriCam camera uses near-infrared light and captures over 100fps motion in RGB.

It seems that Softkinetic and Optrima won't be pushing the iisu-based system to consumers directly; instead it appears they're looking for STB vendors to recognize that Kinect-style motion control has a place outside gaming, and that people are more interested in waving their arms than they are thumbing button-encrusted remotes.

Press Release:

Softkinetic Presents Fully Integrated Gesture-Based TV Experience on Intel® Atom™ Processor CE4100 at the Consumer Electronic Show 2011

3D Gesture Recognition Leader to Demonstrate New Consumer Electronics Experience using Optrima 3D camera

BRUSSELS – January 4, 2011 – Softkinetic, the leading 3D gesture recognition software and solution provider, today announced it will reveal a complete new interactive consumer experience utilizing the Intel® Atom™ Processor CE4100 during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Softkinetic has adapted its iisu™ ("The Interface Is You") middleware to the Intel® Atom™ Processor CE4100 to enable a natural gesture experience for a wide variety of consumer applications, including interactive television and movie channel navigation, web browsing, video conferencing and gesture-based video games.

"Our strategy is to deliver the best possible natural gesture interaction experience for consumers. We're very proud to be working with the Intel Digital Home Group to offer personalized, interactive consumer electronics devices based on the Intel processor," said Michel Tombroff, CEO, Softkinetic. "The CE4100 delivers the necessary extra performance to enable stunning interaction. Gesture recognition offers a highly compelling, intuitive and engaging experience for interactive television entertainment and beyond."

iisu™ is the de facto standard in gesture recognition middleware, with over seven years of research and development behind its creation, and is open and compatible with all depth-sensing technologies available on the market. The fully integrated TV experience presented at CES is a framework built with consumers in mind: users will be able to interact with their television through natural and simple hand gestures—without the need of a remote control—to navigate TV channels, watch movies, browse the Internet, play games, make video conferences and access their social networks.

"Gesture-based interaction is a very compelling answer to organizing and delivering so much content on the connected TVs in an intuitive ways," said Mike Tyson, marketing manager at Intel. "As a pioneer and leader in the field of 3D gesture recognition, Softkinetic has reached a major milestone to help make truly interactive TV a reality using the power of Intel CE processors."

This brand new gesture based TV experience will be powered by the recently announced world's first time-of-flight consumer 3D/RGB/Audio camera from Optrima, strategic partner to Softkinetic.