November 20, 2013

Apple reportedly acquires PrimeSense, may invest in motion control

When Microsoft, one of the major players in home console gaming, sought to add something to their popular Xbox 360, they worked with PrimeSense to create the Kinect. This motion sensing device uses cameras and depth sensors to follow a user's movement and translate that into game input.

Microsoft's longtime competitor, Apple, has thus far stayed out of the console market. But Apple controls a large share of the mobile gaming sphere, and has an incentive to keep innovating to stave off competition from the like of Google's Android platform. With that in mind, it is not a surprise that Apple has reportedly acquired PrimeSense for about $345 million.

According to Minyanville, the technology acquisition with the Tel Aviv-based company has not yet been officially announced by either party. However, PrimeSense did release a statement in which it reaffirmed its goal of leading the 3-D technology market.

What could Apple do with this technology? First, it could use it to add interesting features to iPhones and iPads. The Samsung Galaxy S4 already includes the ability to control web scrolling and video playback based on eye movement. Google has long tried to implement facial recognition as a way for users to unlock their phones. Apple could take all of these ideas and improve upon them, if it so chose.

Others wonder if Apple will finally release its own high-definition television set, which has been rumored for many years. Though there are many smart televisions on the market, motion gesture technology could put this model in an entirely new category if implemented properly.

Regardless of how this deal develops, it is clear that PrimeSense has a lot to offer.