Apple Buys 3D Sensor Company Behind Xbox Kinect

Apple has acquired 3D sensor company PrimeSense for around $360 million.

Apple Buys 3D Sensor Company Behind Xbox Kinect

​We’ve heard a few rumblings about Apple looking to acquire a 3D-sensor company. Well, it’s official.

The company, PrimeSense, is behind the Xbox’s Kinect camera — essentially PrimeSense creates the technology that makes it possible for devices to see in 3D.

Apple has been sniffing around since July, and AllThingsD says the Cupertino company has finalized the deal for around $360 million. Apple, of course, gave the all-too-familiar comment: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

But just because Apple won’t say what it’ll use the 3D tech for, doesn’t mean others won’t.


TheNextWeb notes PrimeSense technology is used in all kinds of product categories: “… TV, mobile, computers, retail, robotics, industry and healthcare. Apple could find use for the technology in at least four of those fields … ”


Those four fields are likely TV, computers, mobile, and retail. And KUSA certainly agrees with the first two.

“… industry speculation is that this could lead to a future where control of your macbook or iphone is done …  just using motion. And with an Apple TV in the works there might be a motion control or face detection built into it as well.”

And Bloomberg has some interesting details on PrimeSense’s more recent experiments in 3D sensing tech. The company is working on …


“… new depth-sensing technology that allows for a 3D camera in a mobile phone to enable apps like indoor navigation tools or 3D shopping catalogs. … its technology can be used for measuring depth, allowing a person to take a photo of their living room into a furniture store to determine if a sofa would fit in the space.”

In other words, Apple has a lot of options for future products that integrate PrimeSense technology. But we’ll just have to wait and see, because as the Cupertino company so often says, “ … we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”