Microsoft Xbox One Kinect Vets Redefine Gesture Control


Aquifi Logo

The team that developed key elements of the Microsoft Xbox One Kinect Technology has today launched a new company, Aquifi, to introduce Fluid Experience Technology. Fluid Experience Technology is a new, software-only platform that will yield new economics and usability in the perceptual computing and gesture-control markets, by allowing a new style of “adaptive” interface to be created.  Because the technology works with inexpensive, commodity image sensors, it will be possible for smartphones, tablets, PC, wearable devices, and other machines to all have interfaces that adjust automatically to users.

The term “Fluid Experience Technology” (coined by the company) implies that barriers are removed between human and machine, with the latter interpreting a user’s movements and gestures, and initiating intuitive actions in response.

“Within the next decade, machines will respond to us and our needs through intuitive interpretation of our actions, movements, and gestures,” said Nazim Kareemi, Aquifi CEO. “Our fluid experience platform represents the next generation in natural interfaces, and will enable adaptive interfaces to become ubiquitous, thanks to our technology’s breakthrough economics.”

Kareemi, a co-founder of Aquifi, also co-founded Canesta – a pioneer in gesture control and perceptual computing, which was acquired by Microsoft for its unique technology. Another Canesta founder, and several of its former executives, joined with Kareemi to develop and launch Aquifi, and its new Fluid Experience paradigm.

Fluid Experience Technology and Applications

Aquifi’s Fluid Experience Technology differs from today’s gesture and control technologies on several fronts.  Among these are:

  • It can interpret user movements over a wide area, as opposed to shallow or narrow “interaction zones”;
  • It can interpret far more than simply hand gestures, or gross body positions, such as the 3-D position of a user’s face or even whose face is in view (facial fingerprinting);
  • It can adapt its response based upon machine learning;
  • It is a software-only solution that can use inexpensive, commodity imaging sensors, rather than specialized chips or other expensive hardware;
  • It can be used across a full spectrum of machines to simplify both the developer’s and user’s experience.

These capabilities will permit innovations such as controlling devices subtly, and from casual positions, as opposed to very stylized actions occurring in a specific window in space, or devices that go in and out of power saving mode, depending on whether the user is looking at them.  Devices could even “auto-lock” when a face not recognized looks at them – greatly enhancing security.


As the technology is introduced to developers over the next six months, in addition to some of the examples above, new applications may include:

  • Wearable applications such as augmented reality that uses smartphone 3-D object scanning/room mapping;
  • Safe car applications, that combine with voice for feedback so we don’t have to look at the screen;

And, in the long term, the ideas are only limited by the imaginations of the developers of new applications.

Aquifi History, Vision, and Technology Summary

Aquifi was begun in 2011, and has since received $9 million from Benchmark Capital and a number of private investors.  These include Blake Krikorian, best known for founding Sling Media and coaching many of the best new media and technology entrepreneurs, and Mike Farmwald, a serial entrepreneur who is best known for cofounding Rambus.

“The vision that Aquifi’s founders saw a decade ago for 3-D tracking and its consequences is becoming a reality today,” said Bruce Dunlevie, Benchmark Capital Partner.  “The team has learned a lot from the collective experience of its members, and understands what is needed to make a fluid experience available to everyone, on all their devices.”

Aquifi’s founders set out to address three questions that were fundamental to transforming the market that they helped create over a decade ago:

  1. How do we make machines adapt to you?
  2. How do we create an enduring platform?
  3. How do we enable a ubiquitous solution?

At the heart of Aquifi’s platform is a software-only model that has key economic and usability benefits. Some of the most important of these are the ability for Aquifi to work with commodity sensors which can be used at low cost across many devices.  In order to enable devices to adapt to the users (rather than the other way around), Aquifi has invented a slate of new technologies. These uniquely combine computer vision, machine learning, and cloud services.  Today, the company holds four granted patents with over thirty others in the patent application process.

About Aquifi

Aquifi ( has invented and is introducing Fluid Experience Technology, which has the potential to change the economics and dynamics of how individuals interact with devices and machines.  The breakthrough, software-only technology works with commodity sensors that can be built into smart phones, tablets, PC’s, wearable devices, or other machines.  The Fluid Experience Technology platform enables these machines to adapt seamlessly to a user’s actions.  Aquifi was founded by the team that invented the underlying technology that is at the heart of Microsoft’s Xbox One Kinect and today has filed for over 30 patents.  The company is funded by Benchmark Capital and several high profile individual investors focused on cutting-edge technology.  Aquifi is based in Palo Alto, CA.

Follow Me