Consumer tech-behemoth Apple Inc, has acquired 3D developer PrimeSense, it hasn’t however disclosed how it intends to use the new acquisition. PrimeSense is a developer who’s technologie allow devices to respond to their environment in three dimensions.
Apple purchased the Israel based company yesterday, tech-analysts believe the move indicates a shift toward more sophisticated gesture-control in Apples mobile devices, iPhone and iPad.
An Apple spokesman confirmed the purchase, however declined to say how much it spent or what the technology will be used for. Israeli media said Apple paid about $350 million for PrimeSense, whose technology powers the gesture control in Microsoft Corp’s Xbox Kinect gaming system ::::
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” an Apple spokesman said in an e-mail.
A spokeswoman for PrimeSense said: “We can confirm the deal with Apple. Further than that, we cannot comment at this stage.”
It was the second acquisition of an Israeli company by Apple in less than two years. Apple bought flash storage chip maker Anobit in January 2012.
It isn’t yet known for which specific applications Apple aims to use the PrimeSense technology or the price it has paid for the Tel Aviv, Israel, company. Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet emailed the company’s standard statement after an acquisition.
The Israeli company has licensed the technology to Microsoft but it is unclear how that deal changes with Apple’s acquisition of PrimeSense, which provides the technology behind Kinect’s visual gesture system.
PrimeSense’s technology has been used to power Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensing input device in the original Xbox.
PrimeSense said earlier this month that its sensor was used by 3-D printing company 3D Systems for its new 3-D scanner called Sense.
The company’s sensors have applications in other areas, ranging from retail to healthcare, which suggest that Apple has a number of alternatives for deployment of the technology in its own devices. Its Capri sensor is a small-size device designed specifically for integration with mobile phones, TVs, tablets and PCs.
Analysts are expecting PrimeSense’s technology to show up in Apple devices in about 12-18 months from now, potentially in the often-speculated device for the living room such as a television, dubbed iTV by fans.
PrimeSense’s technology currently powers around 25 million devices, enabling natural interaction between users and devices, between devices and their surroundings, the company said on its website. Apple’s interest in PrimeSense was first reported in July by Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist.
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