Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has finally officially confirmed a rumor that it acquired Israeli sensor maker PrimeSense, which is credited with building the very first Kinect sensor used in the Xbox 360. Mike Isaac and John Paczkowski of All Things D report that a spokesperson for Apple confirmed the acquisition on Sunday.
Apple may have paid $360 million
Although the spokesperson did not release the terms of the deal, sources reportedly told All Things D that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) paid approximately $360 million to acquire the company. All spokesperson Kristin Huguet would say was the standard answer Apple makes regarding all acquisitions:
“Apply buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Apparently Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been discussing the transaction with PrimeSense for months.
What Apple would want with PrimeSense
There is no end of possibilities for what Apple could or would do with the technology developed by PrimeSense. The company has made meaningful leaps in capturing depth and motion, and it used the technology in the first Kinect sensor for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Xbox. Microsoft now uses its own technology in the sensors, but it’s clear what the folks at PrimeSense can do and what Apple might want to use their technology.
A couple of key products many are speculating about is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s rumored iTV and smart watch. Sensors could be used to turn gestures into commands and fully enhance their use, especially in big-screen items like a television.
Apple has purchased another Israeli company in the past. It acquired Anobit, which supplies high performance flash memory controllers. The company reportedly paid around $400 million to $500 million to acquire that company.
PrimeSense has been garnering attention from venture investors as well, raising more than $80 million in funds from several major firms, including Canaan Partners, Genesis Partners and Silver Lake Sumeru.