An Apple spokesperson confirmed Sunday that the company has purchased Israeli firm PrimeSense in a deal rumored to be worth $360 million. The company had worked with Microsoft on the first version of the Kinect sensor used in the company’s Xbox 360 gaming console.
Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet has confirmed the company’s buy of Israel-based 3D motion sensor and machine vision outfit PrimeSense, reports AllThingsD. Sources familiar with the matter claim Apple paid about $360 million in the deal.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Huguet said.
Apple was first reported to be interested in PrimeSense last July. It was then reported that the two parties were in talks about a possible takeover.
Apple was reported to have finalized the purchase last week.
PrimeSense’s most notable contribution to technology so far has been their infrared motion tracking technology which was used in Microsoft’s Kinect Sensor accessory for use with the Xbox 360.
PrimeSense tech is also in use by Matterport’s full-color 3D scanner, as well as iRobot’s Ava healthcare robot. In these two instances, the firms sensor technology is used to create a visual model of an environment, which is then used by hardware in order to navigate and interact with humans.
Most reports have speculated that Apple plans to use the company’s technology in a possible television set long rumored to be under development.
(UPDATE 11/26/13) – Jessica Lessin points out that PrimeSense’s technology is used in more than just Kinect-like products, but also has some of their tech used by companies like Matterport, which makes a camera for mapping three-dimensional spaces, using PrimeSense’s chips. Could Apple be planning on using PrimeSense’s technology alongside the indoor mapping tech it got previously with the acquisition of WifiSLAM, and indoor GPS company?
MacRumors also has a post well worth reading today, as they delve into the various ways Apple could use PrimeSense’s technology. It sees mobile devices, gaming, mapping, 3D scanning and printing, and interactive retail as possibilities. Recommended reading.