Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is negotiating to acquire the Israeli company PrimeSense, the fabless semiconductor company which built the original Kinect sensor used by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Xbox 360. That’s according to the Israeli publication Calcalist.


Early details about Apple’s talks revealed

Although the negotiations are apparently in their early stages, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could offer as much as $280 million to buy PrimeSense. Senior engineers from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are said to have visited the Israeli company this month.

The technology developed by PrimeSense enables digital devices to “see” scenes in three dimensions, reports Reuters’ Tova Cohen. It’s important to note that the technology was used in the original Kinect sensor and not the second generation version.

Why Apple might want PrimeSense

Now that the talks have been revealed, there’s speculation about why Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might want the type of technology PrimeSense can build. The sensor created by the company was initially sold as a peripheral for the Xbox 360, but The Next Web’s Nick Summers reports that later it was offered by itself after it became popular in the modding community, which would make changes to the device and use it with PC games.

At this point it’s unclear just how such a sensor could be integrated into the products made, although the long-rumored iTV might be one place where it could be used. Integrating hand gestures into the device would certainly set it apart from less expensive devices like the Roku box or even the current Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV box.

There are also speculations that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could be moving into the gaming industry, possibly by simply integrating its App Store games with a gaming console.

Apple made a bid for Waze

Of course with the talks with PrimeSense still being in their early stages, it doesn’t mean that the acquisition will actually happen. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was reportedly trying to acquire the popular crowdsourced traffic app Waze earlier this year, only to have Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) scoop the company out from under its nose.