Apple Acquires Kinect Sensor Developer PrimeSense

Microsoft’s Kinect console is one of the main reasons they’ve remained so competitive in the gaming market. Being able to control your Xbox 360 or Windows PC through gestures and voice command is something that is very appealing to gamers, and the Kinect was arguably the best product on the market for that. Nintendo’s Wii required the use of a controller, and Sony’s gesture-technology was simply too limited.

The developer of the Kinect sensor

Enter the Kinect, a product that could sense gestures, motion, and voice without a controller. The technology that made it possible was a 3D sensor that could see how a person was moving. The company that originally developed the Kinect sensor is PrimeSense, a startup company based out of Israel. They had a close relationship with Microsoft for awhile, but that relationship then cooled. And while they may be responsible for one of Microsoft’s most wanted gaming gadgets, Apple now owns them.

Apple Logo

Apple’s buys PrimeSense

Microsoft’s greatest rival confirmed they had acquired PrimeSense for a price between $350 million according to Globes. The founders of PrimeSense are expected to make between $55-80 million from the sale. Apple is remaining hush-hush about their plans for the company, but there are rumors that they may be looking into adding Kinect-like tech to Apple TV. This would be a huge win for Apple, who already leads the industry in touchscreen technology.

Sensing technology in the Xbox One

While the Xbox 360 still relies on the Kinect technology from PrimeSense, the Xbox One–launched Friday–contains gesture recognition tech that Microsoft developed itself after buying Canesta, one of PrimeSense’s rivals.

Other uses of 3D motion sensors

PrimeSense’s 3D motion sensors are also used in Matterport’s 3D full-color 3D scanner and iRobot’s Ava healthcare robots, as well as a variety of other applications.