These guys have made it to the top. They rule the world and call the shots. Getting their hands dirty is no longer required – especially with a pesky thing called “innovation.”
Think about it…
Apple doesn’t have to redefine an industry that it’s already defined and already rules.
Instead, the company can enjoy its domination for a while, making its products lighter, faster, smaller, bigger – whatever.
The one problem that today’s tech “Dons” do have, however, is figuring out how to remain at the top amid increasingly fierce competition.
The answer is simple: Just keep your ears to the ground for someone else’s game-changing innovation.
Then when you find it, throw a fat wad of cash at the upstart producing it.
At CES 2014, I visited a few companies on the receiving end of some massive bankrolls.
And no company impressed me more than this one, whose fantastic technology has the tech sector’s biggest players lining up for it…
The Real Company Behind “RealSense”
When I left you last time, I was in the giant blue section of CES, occupied by Intel.
The tech giant has some pretty cool new products and technologies in the pipeline. But for me, its RealSense technology is the most intriguing.
It’s the company’s take on human-sensory computing. But as I said before, the technology isn’t really its own…
The Senz3D camera comes from Creative Technology, Ltd. (CREAF)…
The display is an “Aerial Imaging Plate” from Asukanet (Japan: 2438)…
But it’s the middleware that really puts the “real” and the “sense” into “RealSense.” And that’s contracted from SoftKinetic.
SoftKinetic is a Belgian firm that develops gesture recognition hardware and software for real-time 3-D imaging cameras.
SoftKinetic’s “The Interface is You” (IISU) middleware is a complete platform for natural gesture development that it sends companies as a software development kit (SDK). In fact, SoftKinetic’s highest level kit is called the “Intel PC SDK” in homage to its Intel partnership.
And since Creative Technology also has a partnership with Intel, it’s using the Intel SDK to build gesture recognition directly into its Senz3D cameras, as well.
Is there a market for this powerful, interactive technology? You bet!
The Kinetic Aesthetic
What impressed me most when visiting SoftKinetic was the wide array of industries that want its technology.
They range from companies in consumer electronics, immersive gaming, digital entertainment, and health and fitness.
So this isn’t just cool technology. It’s cool technology that’s in demand and widespread.
Soon, SoftKinetic’s technology will be in most Intel Core-powered notebooks. Intel calls it “Sensible Vision,” and it will be offered by household names like Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Acer (Taiwan: 2353) and Toshiba (TOSBF).
But SoftKinetic’s innovation doesn’t end there…
Immersive Gaming? I’ll Say!
SoftKinetic also showed off a demo of the Oculus Rift that uses a Creative Technology depth camera mounted onto the headset.
It had all the notorious virtual reality wonder of the Oculus Rift… but SoftKinetic’s technology allowed me to put my hands into the virtual world to build basic block structures.
Take a look at my experience…
As you can imagine, getting real hands into a virtual world is a huge step up for immersive gaming.
Up to now, the most effective “virtual hands” system came from the Razer Hydra motion controller. But this merely portrayed users’ hands as avatars and relied on the unnatural pressing of buttons to maneuver those hands.
But SoftKinetic’s technology gives users the ability to freely use their own hands to grasp objects, just as you would in real life.
Finally, SoftKinetic used CES to make this juicy announcement…
What’s the Big Deal? This One…
SoftKinetic revealed a major partnership with leading 3-D printing firm, MakerBot (owned by Stratasys [SSYS]). Under the deal, SoftKinetic will develop a 3-D scanner that works with Makerbot’s printers and software.
I saw this in action when SoftKinetic Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Eric Krzeslo, scanned his colleague’s head and torso into a PC. As he stood still, Eric moved the camera around his body in the way you’d move your phone when taking a panoramic image.
After a few seconds, the software rendered this printed image…
As you can see, the power and range of SoftKinetic’s technology is pretty comprehensive. And the human-sensory computing field is only going to grow from here.
Your eyes in the Pipeline,