Apple has confirmed a rumor that it is buying PrimeSense, the small company that invented the 3-D-imaging and gesture-recognition technology that Microsoft employed under license in its first Kinect motion sensor for the Xbox.
Discussions between the two firms have been going on for months. But now the deal is done, and the rumored figure is said to be about $360 million. AllThingsD notes that PrimeSense had raised about $80 million in venture capital over the years to help develop its game-changing imaging tech.
Though PrimeSense’s system was behind the critically acclaimed Kinect, Microsoft has since chosen to develop its own 3-D-imaging system for the new Xbox One. PrimeSense has been enhancing and evolving its sensor systems and this year revealed Capri–a tiny sensor suite that could bring air-gesture and user-recognition services to devices like smartphones.
Apple may use PrimeSense’s technology to drive air gestures and perhaps user recognition for its Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Or maybe Apple has been waiting for PrimeSense in order to build its fabled iTV system or the rumored iWatch.