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TI to Partner SoftKinetic

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Texas Instruments (TXN - Free Report) or "TI" will collaborate with SoftKinetic to develop 3D sensor and gesture recognition solutions for televisions (TVs), personal computers (PCs) and other devices. This innovative technology will be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013.

TI will be introducing 3D time-of-flight (ToF) image sensor chipsets to be integrated with SoftKinetic’s gesture recognition software platform, iisu.

Founded in July 2007, Belgian company SoftKinetic provides motion control or gesture-based recognition solutions. This technology is widely used in a variety of devices in the consumer electronics, health & fitness markets. Currently, the video game industry is using this technology as well. Gaming consoles such as Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT - Free Report) Kinect and Nintendo’s Wii are already equipped with this technology.

Currently, the motion-based or gestures-based technology is gaining immense popularity. It is the next big thing in the technology world. The ease of use offered by this technology -- if one wants to listen to music he or she can tap anywhere on the screen to play it, pause it or swipe anywhere on the screen to change the track -- is the primary reason for its popularity. 

Although the gesture-based technology is in a nascent stage, apps are already being developed. Start-up companies like Flutter are allowing PCs powered by Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Free Report) Mac and Microsoft’s Windows computer to control their music by downloading the app. The users, through gestures, can use applications such as Spotify, iTunes, Windows Media Player, QuickTime and VLC.

According to ABI Research, 600 million smartphones will be shipped with vision-based gesture recognition features by 2017. Further, companies like Intel Corporation (INTC - Free Report) are launching notebooks and ultrabooks with voice recognition features, which is another form of this gestures-based technology. Thus, based on the growth opportunities present in this field, the collaboration will likely to be positive for TI. 

In the third quarter of fiscal 2012, total revenue was $3.39 billion, which was up 1.6% sequentially and down 2.2% year over year (slightly better than the mid-point of the recently narrowed guidance range of $3.27 billion–$3.41 billion).

Texas Instruments carries a Zacks #2 Rank, which implies a Buy rating. However, the company’s peers, Apple, Microsoft and Intel, all carry a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a Hold rating in the short-term.

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