Fairchild acquires body motion capture firm Xsens
March 06, 2014 // Peter Clarke
Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) has acquired Xsens Technologies BV (Eschede, The Netherlands), a private company that has specialized in 3D motion tracking products based on MEMS inertial sensors.
According to a report Xsens executives were giving out Fairchild branded business cards at the Mobile World Congress. No details have been provided of the purchase price for Xsens.
Both Xsens and Fairchild spokespeople declined to confirm or deny the deal or provide more information.
Xsens' expertise is in software and it has a history of providing body tracking software for use in green-screen production in Hollywood films as well as research in such things as augmented reality. In 2012 the company built and demonstrated a wearable wireless 3D body motion tracking system based on consumer-grade MEMS combo sensors from STMicroelectronics.
With the increased interest in wearable equipment as an adjunct to a smartphone hub the ability to locate objects and people in space is becoming of greater interest to chip companies.
Fairchild is not commercially involved in manufacturing or selling MEMS sensors at present but its acquisition of Jyve Inc. in November 2010 and its employment of Janusz Bryzek, as vice president of MEMS and sensing solutions, has led to speculation that the company is set to enter the market. The acquisition of Xsens would dovetail with such a move.
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