SUNNYVALE, Calif. – , which makes 3-D imaging chips, has agreed to be bought by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) for an undisclosed amount.

The deal announced Friday comes less than a week before Microsoft is set to start selling Kinect, an add-on for Xbox 360 that can interpret players’ body movements, using them to control what happens in the game. Kinect will allow people to play video games without having to mash buttons on a plastic controller.

“This is very exciting news for the industry. There is little question that within the next decade we will see natural user interfaces become common for input across all devices,” said Jim Spare, Canesta’s chief executive officer.

“With Microsoft’s breadth of scope from enterprise to consumer products, market presence, and commitment to [natural user interface technology], we are confident that our technology will see wide adoption across many applications that embody the full potential of the technology.”

Canesta owns 44 patents and has “dozens more” in process, the company said.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft worked with another 3-D sensor company, PrimeSense, in building Kinect. It had also acquired 3DV, a PrimeSense competitor, but did not end up using its technology.

Canesta, based in Sunnyvale, said the acquisition is expected to close before the end of the year.

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