Confirmed: Apple acquires 3D sensor maker PrimeSense


Last week, it was reported that Apple had acquired PrimeSense, an Israeli based 3D sensor maker.

However, AllThingsD had clarified that while Apple was in talks to buy the company, “the deal was not yet done”.

AllThingsD now reports that Apple has completed its acquisition of PrimeSense for $360 million, slightly more than the $345 million reported last week.

AllThingsD has got a confirmation from Apple:

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed the PrimeSense deal with the boilerplate comment the company typically provides when news of one of its acquisitions leaks: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Microsoft had used PrimeSense’s sensor technology in the original Xbox Kinect. It has however started using homegrown sensor technology in the latest generation Kinect, which ships with the Xbox One, that launched last week.

Here’s a brief description from the About section on the company’s website:

As a fabless semiconductor company, our patented technological breakthroughs have made us the leading B2B provider of low-cost, high-performance 3D sensing and machine vision technologies.

By giving digital devices the gift of sight, PrimeSense technology is powering the evolutionary path for a wide range of industries and markets. Our technology is already powering more than 24 million devices around the world. With it, we’re enabling Natural Interaction between people and devices and between devices and their surroundings for robust, user-friendly experiences.

They’ve also included the following video, which shows how their 3D sensing technology could be used in TV, mobile, computers, retail, healthcare etc:

PrimeSense is the second Israeli company bought by Apple this year, as it bought flash memory startup Anobit in late 2011.

It remains to be seen how and when Apple plans to incorporate the 3D sensing and natural interaction technology, but seems like a good candidate for most of its products such as iPhone, iPad, Mac and rumored Apple Television set.

[via PrimeSense]

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