Apple buys PrimeSense

Apple has long been interested in applying motion sensor technology to its growing range of devices. PrimeSense is best known for having provided the technology for the 3D sensor in Microsoft's Kinect camera associated with the Xbox 360. It clearly makes sense for it to absorb a company that will further the Cupertino, California-based hardware giant’s capabilities to enhance existing platforms and develop new ones. One such potential usage would be in a future Apple TV offering, though the company has shown an interest since 2011 in adding contactless ways of ‘throwing content’ from one device to another.

Apple reluctantly confirmed the acquisition to the technology information  blog All Things D saying: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." However the deal was said to have been done for something in the region of $360 million.

PrimeSense technology makes devices smarter by giving them the gift of sight, the company claims, allowing them to see and understand their surroundings in a simple and natural way. It has been developing a sensor specifically for mobile devices – its Capri sensor is said to allow them to see and interpret their surroundings in 3D. By shrinking down, the firm showed a miniaturised version of the sensor used in the Kinect working with a Nexus 10 tablet at a Google developers' conference in May. It would evidently make sense for Apple not only to secure this capability for its own portfolio but also to pre-empt its use by competitors.