3D Printing

MakerBot’s EcoSystem Branches Out in Partnership With SoftKinetic for Next Gen 3D Scanning Products

MakerBot and SoftKinetic, a leading provider of 3D vision and gesture recognition solutions, have excitedly and jointly announced an exclusive strategic partnership at the start of this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show. Following Makerbot’s earlier hardware revelations, this partnership is expected to help MakerBot expand its 3D Ecosystem and 3D printing platform, and enhance the ease of use and connectivity of MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers and Scanners. This strategic partnership is also expected help SoftKinetic enhance its 3D camera technology for 3D scanning.

So the expectations are for a Win-Win result then, got it.

We’re told it’s an exclusive relationship with a specific focus on the development of next generation 3D cameras based on SoftKinetic’s technology for inclusion in future MakerBot 3D scanning products. SoftKinetic’s DepthSense 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) depth capture technology is designed to create a seamless user experience with MakerBot Scanners and MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers, making scanning and printing 3D images as easy as taking a picture.

CES is a great place to get some exposure for both companies, with SoftKinetic being a leading provider of 3D vision and gesture recognition technologies for the consumer electronics, automotive and industrial markets. The team behind SoftKinetic comprises a team of mathematicians, 3D imaging specialists, software engineers and user experience experts that aim to revolutionize the interaction with digital content. Texas Instruments has licensed SoftKinetic’s 3D sensor technology in a collaboration that seeks to increase adoption of gesture control in television, personal computers and other consumer and industrial devices. Intel’s perceptual computing platform is based on SoftKinetic’s DepthSense 3D cameras and iisu(R) 3D gesture recognition middleware.

That last little nugget is, in itself, very interesting considering the latest news from 3D Systems is a collaboration with Intel (more to follow on that).

Oh the intrigue of the webs being woven. And we’re barely into week two of the year.

Anyway, here’s what the head honchos of each organization had to say on the partnership:

“It’s really exciting for the future of 3D scanning and 3D printing to exclusively partner with SoftKinetic,” said Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot. “SoftKinetic is a leader in its industry and is developing hardware components that will transform the physical world into the digital. We are very excited to be a part of this development, linking 3D image capture with fifth generation MakerBot products to create exhilarating user experiences for our customers. The future will be very exciting indeed.”

“SoftKinetic is an enabling platform for building amazing user experiences, and our goal is to make things such as 3D scanning and printing intuitive, natural and fun,” said Michel Tombroff, CEO of SoftKinetic. “MakerBot is leading the next industrial revolution and their vision is very well aligned with ours. We are delighted to partner with MakerBot to bring the next generation, 3D printing experience to the consumer.”