According to a new report, Apple is considering a $280 million buyout of the company behind Kinect’s motion-sensors.
The Kinect’s usefulness as a gaming peripheral is still hotly debated, but we can’t say the technology is without merit. Microsoft’s motion sensor has proven itself to be highly versatile in non-gaming settings, with applications in just about every technological field. Perhaps if the Kinect had sold a little better on its home console, we’d even see tech companies rushing forward with home-brewed versions of the device. Such a day may not be far off however, if a report from Israeli business newspaper Calcalist is to be believed. According to the report, executives from Apple are in early talks to purchase PrimeSense, the very company that designed the original Kinect’s sensor technology. If the acquisition goes through, then Apple might pay upwards of $280 million for the chance to design its own motion sensor alternative.
Assuming the report is accurate, talks between Apple and PrimeSense have only just begun, and the issue won’t be resolved for some time. From a speculative standpoint however, it’s easy to imagine Apple products featuring some kind of motion sensor hardware. The company could integrate the device into future Apple TV units, or build facial recognition features into iPhones and iPads.
Neither Apple or PrimeSense gave a definitive response when contacted about the report, but PrimeSense CEO Inon Beracha offered the following statement: “We are focused on building a prosperous company while bringing 3D sensing and natural interaction to the mass market in a variety of industries. We can’t comment on what any of our partners, customers or potential customers are doing and we’re not commenting on rumors.”
It’s unlikely that an Apple-owned PrimeSense would directly affect the Xbox One, since the Kinect is now being developed entirely by Microsoft. That said, if Apple does find a way to make motion sensor technology popular, I imagine Microsoft will have a very, very hard time living it down.