Apple just bought the company that invented Microsoft’s Kinect

Apple has reportedly bought PrimeSense, the Israeli company behind Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensor technology.

The news comes via Israeli financial publication Calcalist (via Reuters), which reported on Sunday that the acquisition cost the tech giant $345 million. The deal appears to be the culmination of long-running negotiations, with the same publication reporting as far back as July that Apple and PrimeSense were in talks over a possibly buyout.

“We are focused on building a prosperous company while bringing 3D sensing and natural interaction to the mass market in a variety of markets such as interactive living room and mobile devices,” a spokeswoman for PrimeSense told Reuters, though added that the company “does not comment on what any of our partners, customers or potential customers are doing and we do not relate to rumors or recycled rumors.”

Apple is also yet to make any comment on the reported deal.

PrimeSense’s technology works using sensors and cameras to interpret movement and gestures, allowing users to play video games or control a TV without the need for a physical controller. Yes, that’s correct – TV.

No doubt Apple’s apparent acquisition of PrimeSense will serve to turn up the heat beneath the long-simmering Apple TV rumor stew.

A Bloomberg report in October quoting Japanese analyst Masahiko Ishino claimed the Cupertino company was developing 55-inch and 65-inch Ultra HD/4K TV models for launch before the end of 2014, priced between $1,500 and $2,500. However, Sunday’s development comes exactly a week after a report suggesting Apple’s iTV project, or whatever it’s called – or if it even exists – has been put on hold (again), with no television-related product expected until 2015 at the earliest.

With PrimeSense now reportedly on board, perhaps, just perhaps, Apple will be able to move a little faster with the development of its much-rumored TV set, though with so many apparent false starts and reports of delays, we’re not holding our breath.

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