Sony Acquires Softkinetic to Further Virtual Reality Development

The race for virtual reality hardware has been going strong for years with the top three spots going to the PlayStation VR, the Microsoft Hololens, and of course the Oculus Rift. As things begin to heat up and release dates have been set for the various virtual reality headsets, Sony is making moves to gain the advantage in this neck to neck race. Sony has purchased the Belgian 3D Vision Technology Company, Softkinetic. The company has been servicing the entertainment industry with its technology since 2009 and specializes in ToF (time of flight) technology.

Softkinetic has been developing ToF technology in order to measure the distance to an object by bouncing light from it. This helps track movement, such as a player in front of a camera. Softkinetic also produces other hardware and software that can be used for motion tracking as well. Virtual reality hardware will of course require specialized and advanced motion tracking technology in order to be successful.

Softkinetic

Sony announced their acquisition of Softkinetic on their website earlier today and what they plan to use their technology for in regards to Sony’s virtual reality endeavors. “Sony will focus on combining Softkinetic’s ToF range image sensor technology expertise with its own technologies with the aim of developing the next generation of range image sensors and solutions, not only in the field of imaging, but for broader sensing-related applications as well.”

Playstation_Virtual_Reality

The PlayStation VR currently requires players to use the PlayStation Move Wands and the PlayStation Eye Camera for motion tracking purposes. The prediction is that Sony is hoping to use Softkinetic’s ToF technology to give players a hands free VR experience.  Sony’s virtual reality headset, the PlayStation VR, has a release date for early 2016. Are you excited for this new move by Sony? Let me know in the comments below!

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