Japanese tech giant Sony has acquired SoftKinetic Systems to boost its efforts in virtual and augmented reality space.

Sony on Thursday announced the acquisition of SoftKinetic Systems, a maker of body-sensing and image-recognition technology. The deal could provide Sony a huge boost in the highly competitive game console market. Sony could use SoftKinetic Systems to boost its efforts in virtual and augmented reality space via the upcoming PlayStation VR headset and smart eyeglasses. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Founded in 2007 and based in Brussels, Belgium, SoftKinetic is a leading provider of 3D vision and gesture recognition solutions. The company has been working on depth-sensing cameras that can track motion in three dimensions using “time of flight” range image technology, a method for resolving the distance to an object. 

The company’s gesture recognition software platform can recognize and distinguish or isolate different scenic elements. It can also identify and track the body parts of a user and can adapt the user’s shape, posture, and even movements to an existing physical model. 

Under the agreement, Softkinetic will now be a subsidiary of Sony, which has also created motion-sensing and gesture-control technology over the years. According to the press release, Sony will focus on combining SoftKinetic’s time-of-flight range imaging technology with its own technologies to develop the next generation of range image sensors and solutions, not only for computers, game machines, and mobile devices but for broader sensing-related applications as well.

Michel Tombroff, chief executive at SoftKinect, said in a statement: “We are very excited to be part of Sony, the world’s largest sensor manufacturer”, and added also that: “Sony is the perfect partner for Softkinetic, and we look forward to leverage Sony’s formidable assets to further drive the 3D vision market.”