Extreme Reality, Which Gives Any Webcam Kinect-Like Powers, Opens Its Developer SDK

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Extreme Reality, an Israeli startup backed by SV Angel, has been at work for eight years on building motion capture technology.

Now they’re opening up the kimono with a platform that can turn any basic webcam or laptop cam into something like a Kinect, with the power to capture a three-dimensional range of movement.

“We’re aiming to give people a console-like experience without the user having to buy additional hardware,” said Asaf Barzilay, who is Extreme Realty’s vice president of products and research and development.

They’ve launched a new developer zone and an SDK for developers to play and test out Extreme Reality’s motion control software. They say it will let developers easily add Kinect-like experiences to web-based games. Without asking consumers to buy hardware, they believe the market for motion-centric games could be orders of magnitude larger.

Their platform lets based laptop and mobile cams capture motion and gestures that are up to 5 meters or 17 feet away from the camera.

The Herzelia, Israel-based company says that other game makers like SEGA have already incorporated their SDK into games like GO DANCE for iOS. Then there are more indie titles like Side-Kick’s Top Smash Tennis for Windows 8, Indie Hero’s BeatBoxer+TM for Windows 7 and VTree Entertainment’s Pro Riders Snowboard for Windows 7 and 8.

The SDK is free at first, but then there’s a revenue sharing arrangement that the company works out on a case-by-case basis. The SDK supports Unity, C++ and C# and operating systems like iOS and Windows 7. But no Android yet.

The company has raised about $19 million in venture funding from SV Angel, Marker LLC, Texas Instruments and Crescent Point Lantern.

Extreme Reality was actually founded eight years ago, but didn’t really start putting out consumer or developer-oriented products into the market until about three years ago. During that time, they picked up about 14 patents.

“We were in a laboratory mode,” Barzilay says.