Sony has announced its acquisition of Softkinetic Systems, a Belgian image sensor technology for amount undisclosed.
Founded in 2007, Softkinetic specializes in a category of technology that helps measure “time of flight,” or the time it takes for light to reflect off an object and return to an image sensor. In consumer terms, a person would be able to see and use his hands to grip, manipulate or otherwise interact with virtual objects while wearing a headset that might else not be possible to see. It has explained with demonstrations how its patented sensing technology could be used in a camera mounted on AR and VR hardware to add hand-tracking input.
The acquisition seems to be a good fit for Sony as it is working on both augmented reality smart glasses and a virtual reality headset, Playstation VR which is expected to hit the market mid next year. With the current projects of Sony, it is quite obvious for SoftKinetic’s 3D sensing applications and content-aware technologies in the current Sony product plans. Sony stated it will work to bring together SoftKinetic’s ToF range image sensor technology with its own technology- “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.”
With the closure of the deal, Softkinetic becomes wholly owned subsidiary of Sony. The company also stated in a press conference, it does not have expectations to have a material impact on its financial results in this fiscal year with regard to the acquisition but is sure to be a stepping up investment in an area that has become one of its strongest.