Sunday, October 31, 2010

Microsoft's Gesture

New York Times: Microsoft’s Push Into Gesture Technology: was buying Canesta, a small Silicon Valley company that specializes in gesture-recognition technology. ..... “I’m excited to be way out in front and want to push the pedal on that,” Mr. Ballmer said. .... could equip PCs, televisions, cars, cellphones and other devices with gesture recognition features. .... James Spare, chief executive of Canesta, who is a former Microsoft executive. “There is no other company more committed to natural user interfaces than Microsoft,” Mr. Spare added..... Last year, Microsoft acquired 3DV systems, a company with similar gesture recognition technology. That deal coupled with the Canest
Gesture raised fist with thumb and pinky liftedImage via Wikipediaa purchase may prevent competitors from acquiring these 3-D abilities and cut off potential intellectual property squabbles. Canesta has secured 44 patents in this area and has more pending.
I have a feeling Microsoft just might regain its dignity through this move. I don't see it gaining much traction with either the smartphone or the tablet, but with gesture technology the night is still young. It is not like Steve Jobs is not looking at the same. He is sitting on top of 50 billions in raw, hot cash with vulture eyes. He will snoop. He will want his bite. But at least here Microsoft will not be coming into the arena like an afterthought. They might still screw up the execution but I think they have spotted an opportunity early.

But word is Bill Gates was talking tablets 10 years ago. Early does not always win. The guy was also talking web TV 15 years ago. But then this is not Bill Gates' ship no more. He is into a second career. He is out helping people out.

Gesture technology is chips and software, and Microsoft has been good at this before. I am not counting the giant out just yet.
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