Sony has purchased SoftKinect, a Belgian 3D sensor developer. Sony has been trying to break into the virtual reality market for a while now, with its PlayStation VR headset and its Augmented Reality glasses called SmartEyeglass, and now it is closer to that goal with the purchase of the Belgian company SoftKinect.
If you’re not familiar with them, SoftKinect is a company that creates 3D sensors and other devices for developer use. Their sensors use time-of-flight technology to detect user input. Time-of-flight is a process through which a sensor determines the distance between the user and the device by measuring how long it takes for a beam of light to travel from the user to the sensor. This is particularily useful for Sony’s virtual and augmented reality project as time-of-flight sensors can be used to detect where the user is and allow the software to make the proper adjustments.
Sony has other devices to complement this technology, one of them is the PlayStation VR headset. Sony announced that they had a new VR headeset last year in March. Back then it was called Project Morpheus and it was similar to all other VR headsets that were announced, only difference was that Project Morpheus was powered by the PlayStation. The name changed to PlayStation VR, but a release date has not yet been set, but we can speculate that Sony’s purchase of SoftKinect could be a sign that the project is getting closer to being finished.
The other Sony product whcih could be integrated with the SoftKinect technology is the SmartEyeglass, a pair of Augmented Reality Glasses. The device is only a prototype but Sony has released the SmartEyeglass SDK (Software Development Kit) and the glasses are available for developers currently.
The price of the acquisition has not yet been released.