V3.co.uk - Dan Worth - 25th November 2013
Apple has bought Israeli 3D sensor company PrimeSense, which provides the technology used to power Microsoft’s Kinect system, in a deal thought to be worth around $350m.
The deal has been rumoured for some time and now Apple has issued its standard template statement to confirm the deal.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” it said.
PrimeSense said in a statement: "We can confirm the deal with Apple. Further than that, we cannot comment at this stage."
The move for PrimeSense, which specialises in motion-tracking technology, could be used by Apple in a number of ways, quite possibly in a future Apple TV product that has been talked about for many years.
V3 visited the headquarters of PrimeSense last year and met with CEO Inon Beracha. During this visit he talked up the potential of gesture technology to impact a whole range of industries, and even touched on how he envisioned a gesture-controlled TV as a “huge iPad”.
"People will not hold a keyboard and a mouse in the living room, it needs to be a lean-back experience, something like using an iPhone or iPad", he explained. "We can solve this by making the TV a huge iPad in essence. An interactive system that can be interacted with through gestures."
Below is an image showing the PrimeSense interface, which can be controlled by swiping your hand to select movies or move between genres.
The deal for PrimeSense comes after Apple revealed acquisition deals for 15 new companies in the past financial year, seven of which have not been disclosed, as the company looks poised to introduce a new wave of innovations in forthcoming products.