Apple Reportedly Buys Israeli Company Behind Xbox's Kinect

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Israeli news and financial newspaper Calcalist reported Sunday that Apple has acquired PrimeSense, a motion-tracking company based in Tel Aviv, in a $345 million deal.

PrimeSense is best known for licensing the hardware design and chip used in Microsoft's Kinect motion-sensing system for the Xbox 360 from 2010.

The Israeli 3D sensing company with offices in Israel, North America, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, China and Taiwan, provides products in the area of sensory inputs for consumer and commercial markets.

PrimeSense's main appeal to Apple is its advanced body-movement tracking technology, a report by technology website Slashgear said, adding that one of its newer implementations, Capri, has the potential to be used in future iPhone and iPad versions.

A rumor, based on the report by Slashgear, is that Apple intends to use the PrimeSense technology for a television project that would use a streaming smart TV system using gestures rather than a remote.

Another speculation is that PrimeSense's sensor system could be used In Apple's smartwatch project (unofficially called the iWatch), Slashgear said.

According to Calcalist, PrimeSense has raised $85 million from Israeli and U.S. venture capital funds such as Canaan Partners Global, Gemini Israel and Genesis Partners.

"We are focused on building a prosperous company while bringing 3D sensing and natural interaction to the mass market in a variety of markets such as interactive living room and mobile devices," a spokeswoman for PrimeSense said. "We do not comment on what any of our partners, customers or potential customers are doing and we do not relate to rumours or recycled rumours."

The acquisition of PrimeSense would be Apple's second purchase of an Israeli company. It bought flash storage chip maker Anobit in January 2012.

Israeli Uzi Breier, employee of PrimeSense, uses his hands to control a screen in the company offices in Tel Aviv.Credit: Ariel Schalit

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