Combination of High Performance Sensing Hardware with Advanced Software Provides Complete Solution for Developing Gesture-Based Interfaces

Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. announced today the release of a bundled solution for the digital entertainment and signage markets. As part of any D-IMager purchase, users are entitled to a complimentary copy of a special Panasonic edition of the Omek Beckon™ Development Suite, providing a complete solution for hardware and software developers looking to equip their devices and applications with gesture-based interfaces.

Gesture-based interfaces - which enable users to control devices or software using natural body movements and gestures - are being incorporated into a wide range of devices, including interactive digital signs, medical equipment, arcade game machines and robots, among others. Digital signage is a key target market for the D-IMager, which has the range, durability, and robust light-handling needed for large-scale interactive digital signage applications. With the addition of the Beckon SDK for Panasonic, which is optimized for signage and other interface creators using the D-IMager, creative agencies and developers are fully empowered to create "touchless" interactive experiences.

The D-IMager is a 3D sensor that uses time-of-flight (ToF) technology to capture the depth information of a target by instantaneously measuring its distance in real-time. Unlike other 3D depth sensors, the D-IMager is highly resistant to interference from ambient light due to its patented in-pixel background light suppression technology. It is robust and designed to operate on a 24/7 basis, making it ideal for a wide range of gesture control applications such as interactive digital signage and immersive multimedia.

Omek Beckon for Panasonic is a full-featured set of middleware and development tools designed to unlock the power of the D-IMager. The Beckon engine accesses the sensor's depth data and recognizes a person in front of the sensor. It then adds a skeletal framework to the human forms, and tracks the position and rotation of each major joint in the body with high accuracy. Beckon provides a complete and flexible API for applications to access these movements, and tools that allow specific positions or motions to be defined as gestures.

The Beckon SDK for Panasonic provides support for full-body and partial-body modes, and can recognize multiple individuals at one time, allowing for new "multiplayer" modalities in interactive digital signage. The SDK supports development in C+, C# and Flash, and provides a full set of sample applications and plug-ins for common development frameworks.

"Interactivity is a key factor when it comes to attracting and engaging with customers. Today, this interactivity using gesture recognition is now made easily available to developers involved with digital out-of-home advertising systems," said Ken Omori, General Manager of Marketing for the D-IMager. "The bundling of Panasonic's D-IMager with Omek's Beckon SDK enables creative agencies and development firms to easily and efficiently access this power. Our goal is to provide these firms - and others that want to add professional-level gesture system to their devices and applications - with the market's leading professional solution." said David Sternis, Business Development Leader for the D-Imager.

"Gesture-based interfaces are transforming the way people interact with devices and the applications that run on them, and Omek is proud to be playing a leading role in this transformation, said Jonathan Epstein, President of Omek USA. "Panasonic has focused its D-IMager squarely at the high-end professional user, including digital signage creators, and the combination of our products is a powerful solution indeed."


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