updated 07:53 pm EST, Sun November 24, 2013
Apple closes deal for Kinect technology developer
Apple has completed the deal that will see it buying Israeli gesture recognition company PrimeSense for roughly $350 million. Israel's Globes reported on Sunday that the deal had closed, with the company's founders pulling in tens of millions of dollars from the acquisition. Rumors of Apple's interest surfaced earlier this year, and reports emerged last week that it was imminent, but Globes now claims that the deal has indeed closed, and for $5 million more than had previously been reported.
AllThingsD announced on Sunday that it had independently confirmed the PrimeSense acquisition through an Apple representative. Notoriously secretive about its motivations, Apple said little about the deal beyond the following statement:
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
PrimeSense developed the technology that powered the original Kinect for Microsoft's Xbox 360
Reportedly, the company's five founders will bring in between $50 and $85 million each from the deal. PrimeSense's technology was previously used in Microsoft's Kinect accessory for its Xbox 360 video game console. Microsoft reportedly paid PrimeSense $200 million from Xbox 360 sales. Microsoft was also a strategic investor in the company, along with private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, Gemini Israel Ventures, Genesis Partners, and Canaan Partners.
What exactly Apple will do with PrimeSense's technology remains to be seen. Gesture recognition of the like enabled by PrimeSense has not featured heavily in Apple's products to date. Apple has in the past, though, filed patents for 3D gesture recognition features. Tech industry observers have speculated that such technology could come to bear in an Apple-branded television set, which has been rumored for years.