After months of negotiation rumors, Apple has officially purchased PrimeSense, the sensor company that Microsoft worked with to create the first Kinect. Globes.co.il announced the completion of the purchase yesterday, Nov. 24, and AllThingsD got confirmation from Apple today. The deal was thought to cost Apple somewhere between $300 and $400 million and has been rumored since July.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” said an Apple spokesperson.
PrimeSense is dedicated to creating sensors that allow real-world 3D gesture interaction with computers and games. The Kinect was an early example of the company’s technology, though Microsoft’s new Xbox One’s Kinect was not made at PrimeSense. In more recent years, the sensor company has created smaller 3D sensors that can fit inside smartphones and other small devices. The Capri, for example, could give an iPhone camera the ability to detect depth and perceive the world in 3D. This could lead to advances in photography and object recognition, among other things.
Of course, our own Caleb Denison believes that the acquisition could have something to do with Apple’s long-rumored television.
“If Apple can perfect gesture control technology, it could conceivably make controlling its TV as easy as swiping, touching, pinching, and spreading the air in front of our faces,” writes Denison. “It would turn your second screen into your first screen.”
When Apple buys a company, it usually has a plan to use that company’s technology to its advantage. We don’t yet know what Apple products will use PrimeSense tech, but we look forward to finding out.
What do you think Apple will use PrimeSense’s 3D sensors for?