Last year, Microsoft acquired 3DV systems, a company with similar gesture recognition technology. That deal coupled with the Canesta 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.
Historically, Microsoft has worked with chip partners like Intel and Nvidia rather than building its own products, so the Canesta purchase is something of a shift.
Apple has been scooping up chip makers as well so it can improve the engines that power devices like the iPhone and iPad.
Microsoft Buying Canesta to Bolster Gesture Technology - NYTimes.com
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