Apple Considering Buying PrimeSense, the Firm Behind Kinect Technology


Apple is reportedly interested in acquiring a company called PrimeSense, which helped develop the technology that originally powered Microsoft’s Kinect motion controller, Israeli news outlet Calcalist said recently.

The Cupertino-based company is reportedly willing to spend up to $300 million – though possibly around $280 million – for PrimeSense, and we imagine it would use the technology to build out its Apple TV, or possibly the iTV, for motion-based controls in the living room. Sony, Microsoft and TV makers such as Samsung already offer this sort of technology in the living room, though Apple has yet to enter the 3D interactive environment space. PrimeSense provides the 3D digital sensors for several such products on the market and also offers its NiTE software control platforms, development libraries and more.

Apple’s use of PrimeSense doesn’t have to be limited to the living room, however. The company also provides technology for “natural interaction” with LCD screens on laptops and tablets, so it’s possible we could see new controls added to the iPAD, MacBooks and more. PrimeSense also provides solutions to retail, healthcare, industrial and robotics partners.

Calcalist said that engineers from PrimeSense visited Apple for a secret meeting in early July, during which they discussed optical hardware and noted that the high-level meetings point to the possibility that these talks are in advanced stages. The news outlet said earlier this month that Apple and Sony were also interested in making bids on PrimeSense.