Last night, Apple confirmed that it bought Israeli-based startup PrimeSense, the company best known for helping Microsoft develop the motion-tracking technology used for the Xbox Kinect.
The price of the acquisition is reported to be $US360 million, which makes it one of Apple’s biggest purchases.
As the Guardian points out, this means Apple is going to put PrimeSense’s technology to work. Apple’s other big buys: PA Semi, which has been used to develop iPhone chips, Authentec, which was used for the fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5S, Quattro Wireless which became iAd, and so on…
So, what’s Apple going to do with it? We’re speculating here, but it sure seems like PrimeSense’s 3D technology will be used in the Apple TV. It may or may not work its way into a full-on Apple television, but it seems fairly certain it will be in the little Apple TV box.
PrimeSense is primarily known for 3D sensors, which are used for gesture based interactions. So, imagine swiping your hands in the air, and stuff on your screen moves — that’s what PrimeSense does.
In September, Mark Gurman, one of the best Apple reporters in the world, said, “we have been consistently hearing from our sources that Apple is thoroughly testing Xbox Kinect-like motion sensors for future TV-related products. When Apple plans to release motion-controlled TVs, however, is uncertain.”
Perhaps with the PrimeSense team in-house, Apple will be able to smooth out the kinks in its motion-based technology and implement it in a forthcoming version of the Apple TV.