|Apple is rumored to be in the early stages of negotiations to acquire PrimeSense, the company behind the technology in the first generation Microsoft Kinect sensor. The Israeli-based company first shopped the original concepts behind the Kinect to Apple in 2010, but negotiations fell over quickly after Apple insisted on legal deals and nondisclosure agreements that PrimeSense felt were onerous. “Apple is a pain in the ass,” PrimeSense CEO Inon Beracha said at the time claiming that it didn’t feel the need to get tied down in Apple’s red tape at the time, especially when it had significant interest from other companies, including Microsoft.
While Apple may have missed the opportunity to license PrimeSense motion technology at that time, it has apparently reconsidered its position and is now interested in buying the company outright. Apple has reportedly put an offer on the table of $280 million during a meeting at the Cupertino campus with a delegation from PrimeSense. Whether the offer progresses any further remains uncertain at this time.
Also unclear is how Apple may incorporate the PrimeSense technology in its product line, or whether it is with a view to integrating into an entirely new product line. The rumoured Apple TV set for could incorporate PrimeSense technology for motion control, or even for its smaller Apple TV box could be further developed into a motion-controlled gaming center as well. Apple has previously argued that touchscreen technology in its Mac line isn’t ergonomic, but 3D motion sensing technology could be an alternative form of input.
In addition to developing the technology behind the original Xbox 360 Kinect sensor, PrimeSense worked with Asus on the Xtion PC app and gaming sensor, which is tied to an Xtion-only app store. Its 3D sensor tech has also been built into the Matterport 3D scanner that creates 3D renders of interior spaces. Primesense has also applied its expertise in the field of robotics with its sensors appearing in the RP-VITA medical robot manufactured by iRobot.