Apple has acquired PrimeSense, an Israeli based 3D sensor maker, according to Israeli financial news website Calcalist.
PrimeSense’s 3D sensing technology has been used in Microsoft’s Xbox Kinnect.
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:
The report claims that Apple has acquired the company for $345 million. If this is indeed true, then this would be the second Israel-based company bought by Apple this year, as it bought Israeli 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.
AllThingsD reports that according to their sources, Apple is in discussion to buy PrimeSense but “the deal is not yet done”.
Sources said that talks are “close” to complete, but are hung up on end-game issues like liquidity preferences — in other words, who gets paid first. One also said the price could be slightly higher than reported, on the order of $20 million more.
Sources noted that the expected value of the deal would not be a big jump over where investors had recently valued the company, which was apparently at about $250 million.