Report: Apple in talks to buy PrimeSense, company behind original Kinect sensor

Apple reportedly plans on buying PrimeSense, the company behind the motion tracking sensor found in Microsoft's current-generation Kinect, though a timeline for when the deal could be completed remains unknown.

According to a report by Israeli news outlet Calcalist, Apple met with the Tel Aviv-based PrimeSense in "recent weeks" and will likely offer about $280 million for the company, which specializes in 3D tracking technology. Calcalist claims the negotiations are still in the early stages, though it reports that senior Apple officials have engaged in extensive examinations of PrimeSense technology to determine its suitability for future Apple products. Additionally, a delegation of senior Apple engineers reportedly visited Israel in early July to learn about PrimeSense's products.

Apple has long been rumored to be developing a television, though the company has been cagey about its exact plans for the living room device. In a December interview with NBC's Brian Williams, Apple CEO Tim Cook said television is an "area of intense interest" for the company. Cook implied Apple would only enter the market if it could make television watching feel more modern.

"I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years [when I watch TV]," the CEO told Williams.

Despite being responsible for a large portion of the motion-tracing technology in the current Kinect sensor, PrimeSense wasn't involved in the development of the Kinect sensor that will be bundled with Xbox One consoles. Instead of using a PrimeSense chip as with the current-generation Kinect, Microsoft developed its own hardware for the future sensor.

Source: Calcalist via The Next Web | Image via Microsoft

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Either way it's a Apple Copying thing, thought trying to mskr it legal. They did not care fisrts, someone esle did, now they do... Copying as usual!

Funny and ironic.
PrimeSense originally approached Apple with their technology and they were turned down.
They finally received a warm welcome with Microsoft.
The rest is history.

Ya beat me to
It's kinda making sense now...

Microsoft is trying to battle Sony and Nintendo... And get Apple out of the picture before they even get in the picture.... /s

If so, I'm sure it will force Microsoft to purchase them. I never understood why Microsoft didn't buy them in the first place.

M_Lyons10 said,
If so, I'm sure it will force Microsoft to purchase them. I never understood why Microsoft didn't buy them in the first place.

I don't think Microsoft needs PrimeSense now.

There is a lot of nonsense spouted about Kinect as though Microsoft bought an off the shelf piece of technology from primesense, plugged it in the back of an xbox and called it their own.

The sensor technology was touted around for a long time post Israeli military and was actually being piloted for golf swing analysis. Whilst it's novel it's not anything like a complete solution.

The Kinect itself is protected by literally '00s of patents not least in areas such as manufacturing and calibration of the sensor where production/test lead times where reduced from days to minutes by MSR. I suspect this is what apple will have to build for themselves if they undertook a purchase and they are 5+ years behind if this is their mission. Good luck.

I think they would have bought it if they wanted to , They ignored primsense to develop the second kinect which appears to be a ton times better than the original one.

Evon though MS developed their own chip for Kinect 2.0, I assume their are patents involved. So does this mean Microsoft will be paying royalties to Apple going forward for each Xbox One sold?

I would guess that Microsoft already has a license / royalty deal with Primesense for the Kinect technology that would just continue.

I'm curious about that as well. I know MS later bought Canesta and 3DV Systems after Kinect was released, which makes me wonder if they might have worked around PrimeSense's tech with what they acquired from those two companies.

The patents are for the the first Kinect . The second kinect is completely different in the way it identified motion and process it. As a matter of fact Microsoft had a lot of motion control patents before Kinect. That said I doubt any of it will matter , Microsoft and Apple have a lot of cross license patents.