Apple Confirms Acquisition of Israeli 3D Sensing Company PrimeSense

PrimeSense is best known for its advanced body-movement tracking technology originally used for the Xbox 360, a popular gaming device.

Inbal Orpaz
Inbal Orpaz
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Inbal Orpaz
Inbal Orpaz

Apple has signed a $350 million acquisition deal with the Israeli company PrimeSense, the maker of a motion-tracking chip technology.

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed the deal late Sunday, but would not elaborate on the details. Rumors of the acquisition, apparently signed over the weekend, have been circulating in the media for months.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Huguet told Reuters via email.

The Israeli maker of motion-tracking chip technology is best known for licensing the hardware design and chip used in Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing system for the Xbox 360, which came out in 2010. More recently, the startup has been developing depth-sensing technology that would enable a three-dimensional camera inside a mobile phone to operate applications like indoor navigation tools or 3D shopping catalogs.

Apple bought another Israeli company, flash storage chip maker Anobit, in January 2012.

The PrimeSense acquisition contributes to what is shaping up to be a banner year for merger-and-acquisition deals for Israeli startups. Google's $1 billion purchase of navigational application Waze has received the most media attention, but other big acquisitions include IBM’s $650 million purchase of cybercrime prevention company Trusteer and Facebook’s $120 million purchase of mobile utility app maker Onavo. Mobile protection company Asurion has also agreed to purchase Soluto, a cloud-based PC management service, for $130 million.

PrimeSense investors include Canaan Partners, Silver Lake, Gemini Israel Funds and Genesis Partners.

The PrimeSense deal fits Apple’s pattern of buying relatively unknown companies whose technology is later integrated into Apple products. Apple has bought several other chip companies since 2008. Earlier this year, it acquired navigation-software maker Embark, online transit navigation service HopStop, business-locations maps company Locationary, and WifiSLAM, a location-identifying technology allowing smartphones to detect a person’s coordinates inside a building.

The iDigital store in Tel Aviv's Ramat Aviv Mall.Credit: Daniel Tchetchik

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott