Microsoft Licenses Another Piece of Its IP

Under the auspices of its IP Ventures licensing unit, Microsoft has licensed its Microsoft-Research-developed "Touchlight" touch-screen technology to another software vendor.

Microsoft has licensed its "Touchlight" touch-screen technology to EON Reality, a visual content management software vendor.

With the deal, announced July 19, EON joins a handful of other companies that have signed deals to license Microsoft Research-developed technologies under the auspices of Microsofts IP Ventures licensing unit. Current licensees include Ireland, the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (Sitra), Inrix, Skinkers, Softedge-Systems, Vimio and Wallop.

Microsoft created IP Ventures in May 2005. At that time, Microsoft made 20 of its research technologies available for licensing to venture capitalists, startups and other interested parties in exchange for equity stakes and/or royalty payments. Among the technologies Microsoft is offering to license are everything from Conference XP, a distance-learning program; to a mesh-networking program; to "Wallop," a social-networking application.

Touchlight is another of the technologies Microsoft has been offering to potential licensees. Touchlight, which Microsoft has been touting since 2004, is an imaging touch-screen and display allowing gesture-based interaction. With Touchlight, "the outputs of two video cameras behind a transparent projection display are combined to produce an image of objects on the display surface," according to a description of the technology from the Siggraph 2005 show.

EON is planning to incorporate the Touchlight into a number of products it is planning to commercialize, starting at the end of this year, according to EON Executive Vice President Sean OBrien.

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