Kinect inventors bought out, but not by Microsoft
AllThingsD.com has confirmed that Apple has purchased PrimeSense, an Israeli 3D sensor-maker. Kristin Huguet, Apple’s spokesperson confirmed the deal to AllthingsD.com with the company’s usual “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans” statement.
Sources told AllThingsD.com that the deal is worth “around $360 million”.
PrimeSense is most famous for developing the 3D sensors inside the original Kinect, which uses a combination of depth sensors and cameras to capture players’ body movements and translate it into on-screen actions that control how games play. The Kinect 2.0 sensor found in the brand-new Xbox One console doesn’t use PrimeSense’s technology, as it was built entirely in-house at Microsoft.
PrimeSense is just one Israeli company Apple has bought recently, the other being Anobit, a maker of high-performance Flash memory controllers that was snapped up earlier this year.
Interestingly, PrimeSense’s more recent efforts include motion-sensors that are small enough to fit into smartphones and tablets, making it theoretically possible that Apple will incorporate the technology into future i-devices, Macs or any unannounced products they have in their secret pipeline. If Apple were to bring out its long-rumoured Apple-branded television set, this new acquisition means it might even come with motion controls. If nothing else, it indicates at the very least that Apple sees value in the concept of 3D sensors and, by extension, motion controls. How that will affect future products is anyone’s guess.