Apple buys Israeli 3D sensor outfit PrimeSense for a reported $350M

PrimeSense

Apple has bought an Israeli motion control company called PrimeSense, in a deal that’s been rumored for over 4 months now. PrimeSense makes 3D sensors, and has until now been best known for powering Microsoft’s Kinect controller for the Xbox and PCs.

PrimeSense’s most popular product is a multi-sense (depth, color and audio) recognition system-on-a-chip called Carmine, and the successor to that, Capri, is described as having “improved algorithms including multi-modal 3D sensing techniques, that enable superior performance resolutions, smaller form factor, and cost reduction.”

What does Apple want with such technology? It could find applications in a variety of contexts, from Apple TV to — miniaturization permitting — the iPad and the company’s fabled entry into the world of wearable computing. PrimeSense’s advanced depth perception tech could theoretically even be used to turn future iPhones into handheld 3D scanners.

Apple confirmed the buy to AllThingsD on Sunday, and a PrimeSense spokeswoman confirmed it again on Monday morning, but refused to give further details.

A report by the Israeli publication Calcalist earlier in November pegged the deal at a value of $345 million. An unnamed source told Bloomberg early Monday that the price was “about” $350 million.

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