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Panasonic bundles gesture tech for digital signage

Panasonic Electric Works Co. Ltd. today announced the release of a bundled solution for the digital entertainment and digital signage markets. As part of any D-IMager purchase, end users can get 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 3-D 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 3-D depth sensors, Panasonic said, 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.

For more on interactive digital signage go to our research center on Interactive/Touchscreen digital displays.

digital signage