Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Report: Apple in Talks to Buy Company Behind Kinect Sensor

New reports are saying that Apple is in talks to purchase Primesense, the Israeli firm whose sensor technology was used in Microsoft’s first Kinect device. Sources suggest Apple is offering between $280 and $300 million for the firm.

PCMag’s Stephanie Mlot reported, “Apple is reportedly looking to acquire Israeli fabless semiconductor company Primesense. According to local newspaper Calcalist, Apple has offered $280 million to buy the 3D sensor specialist following discussions over the embedding of its technology inside Apple products. In the past, Primesense worked with Microsoft to include its technology, chips, and designs inside the first Kinect accessory for the Xbox 360.”

9to5 Mac’s Seth Weintraub added, “According to the report, a delegation of PrimeSense senior executives visited Apple’s engineering offices in recent days. The purchase would bolster Apple’s living room TV interface offerings and allow Apple to add controls with body movements and hand gestures to its products.”

The Verge’s Matt Brian noted, “Primesense’s 3D-scanning technology is used in more than 20 million devices around the world, including sensors that can be used in both smartphones and tablets. Primesense technology can also be found in new portable scanners capable of generating detailed, color 3D models of interior spaces.”

But VentureBeat’s John Koetsier observed that PrimeSense is facing some challenges, writing, “Microsoft’s new Kinect, which is much more sensitive than the first model, doesn’t use the Israeli company’s technology, causing the loss of tens of millions of dollars in royalty payments on a go-forward basis. Leap Motion has developed much more sensitive sensing capability — racking movements of both hands and all 10 fingers at 290 frames per second and detecting movements as small as 1/100 of a millimeter – and has inked a deal with Asus.”

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