Apple confirms acquisition of PrimeSense, the company behind the original Kinect

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Apple confirms acquisition of PrimeSense, the company behind the original Kinect
Apple has completed the acquisition of PrimeSense, an Israeli maker of chips that enable three-dimensional (3D) machine vision, for a reported fee of $360 million.

Apple has officially confirmed the buyout with its usual boilerplate statement, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." It was confirmed by Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet, according to a report by AllThingsD that also quoted the $360 million as the value of the deal, citing sources.

Last week, reports of the Cupertino giant being in talks to buy 3D sensing company, PrimeSense, emerged, adding that the deal was "close" but "hung up on end-game issues like liquidity preferences - in other words, who gets paid first."

PrimeSense's sensing technology, which gives digital devices the ability to observe a scene in three dimensions, was used to help power Kinect in Microsoft's Xbox gaming console, when the technology made its debut. However, Microsoft used homegrown technology for the new Kinect that is part of Xbox One. PrimeSense had raised $85 million from Israeli and U.S. venture capital funds such as Canaan Partners Global, Gemini Israel and Genesis Partners.

As the report notes, PrimeSense also makes more sensor-based devices that are more compact, and can be used in smaller devices including smartphones. Apple could theoretically employ this technology in the next version of Apple TV or even in the iPhone.

The news of the the acquisition talks was first reported by Israeli publication Calcalist in July.

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

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