Earlier this year we heard rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was in talks to buy PrimeSense, an Israel-based maker of 3D sensors. Now it sounds like Apple may have closed the deal to the tune of $345 million. That’s according to the Hebrew-language publication Calcalist (via Apple Insider).
Apple not confirming report yet
The report indicates that an official announcement is expected from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and PrimeSense within the next two weeks, although neither company is currently confirming the acquisition. It had reportedly been planned to close earlier this month, but some sort of legal issue was said to have delayed it. That issue was said to be related to a partnership.
When we first heard rumors that Apple was talking to PrimeSense, it was revealed that the Israeli company had created the original Kinect sensor used for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Xbox. However, Microsoft has since updated the sensor and is apparently no longer using the design from PrimeSense. When those early reports were circulated, Apple was also said to have offered $280 million, so if the $345 million price tag ends up being correct, it certainly sounds like Apple really wanted the company.
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Uses for the technology made by PrimeSense
PrimeSense is known for making products which create 3D environments and then track the movements of bodies and even facial expressions using the company’s sensors. Since being used in the Kinect, Apple Insider reports that it has also been used for the Ava healthcare robot developed by iRobot, as well as a to make 3D models of spaces, like for the Vuforia 3D gaming platform made by QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM).
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could have any number of reasons for wanting to acquire the technology made by PrimeSense. Some have speculated that it could be used for the rumored iTV or for wearable computing devices.