Last week, it was reported that Apple was in talks to buy PrimeSense, which was the company responsible for the technology inside of the Xbox 360 Kinect. According to AllThingsD, Apple has confirmed the acquisition, saying it purchased PrimeSense for around $360 million.
Apple says that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” so we probably won’t be hearing about what the Cupertino-based company has in store for the technology hey required, but it’s safe to assume that motion tracking and motion control will be in Apple’s future at some point.
If you’re not familiar with PrimeSense, it was the original supplier for the technology behind Microsoft’s Kinect sensor for the Xbox 360. The sensor contains various cameras and depth sensors in order to recognize players and sense their body movements, thus allowing gamers to control characters with their own bodies. As for the Xbox One, Microsoft has since abandoned PrimeSense in order to use its own technology in the new Kinect.
As far as what Apple could be planning to do with its PrimeSense acquisition, any number of things come to mind, but seeing as how we highly doubt the company is dabbling in motion gaming, we think the technology could most likely be used in future wearable devices (like the rumored iWatch), as well as being a built-in feature in a future television product that we’ve been hearing so much about over the last couple of years. It’s possible that an Apple television set could be controlled using hand gestures, rather than a remote control. Many Smart TV already have this feature, but it’s pretty gimmicky and very unreliable most of the time. However, this could give Apple the chance to step in and change that.
In any case, it’ll be interesting to see what Apple does with the technology in the future. Of course, as the company stated, they’re always buying smaller companies, and sometimes we never see the fruits of that acquisition, but $360 million is a lot to spend on something that you wouldn’t use, so we’re guessing we’ll see a lot out of the acquisition in the future.