Microsoft got Kinect technology since "Apple is a pain in the ass"

By on November 6, 2010, 12:23 AM
Back in June 2008, PrimeSense was looking to sell the technology that would eventually be engineered into what we now know as Xbox Kinect. The first company in Silicon Valley that PrimeSense CEO, Inon Beracha tried to demonstrate the sensor that powers Kinect to was none other than Apple.

The technology had been developed by engineers in the Israeli military. When asked about why he thought of Apple first, Beracha told Cult of Mac that "It was the most natural place for the technology." The negotiations didn't go so well. Beracha figured the technology was so good that he would be able to sell it to anyone. In the end, it came down to "Apple is a pain in the ass," Beracha reportedly said with a smile on his face.

Unfortunately for Apple, Beracha wasn't happy with the way negotiations for the motion control technology were being handled. Cupertino insisted on being controlling: meetings were limited by the company's insistence on secrecy, not to mention contractual demands, legal agreements, and NDAs. Beracha went looking at other companies, and Microsoft ended up playing its cards right.

The decision to go with Apple makes more sense in 2010 than it did two years ago. We now know how much Apple CEO Steve Jobs hates buttons, how he wants as few of them on his devices as possible, and how much the company is pushing multi-touch. It doesn't get any more "button-less" in computing, however, than a full body interface like the Xbox Kinect.

Microsoft chose to go with the Xbox as a start for the technology but one must remember that, over a year ago Bill Gates said that he would like to see Kinect on Windows one day. He listed a few possible areas of implementation: media consumption, interacting during meetings, collaboration, and communication.

Apple doesn't sell a gaming console so that industry would not have been a likely candidate for the technology. Had the negotiations gone differently, would we have seen it in Macs, the iPad, or maybe the Apple TV instead?





User Comments: 56

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treeski treeski said:

This is another win for Microsoft, which they seem to be wracking up lately.

Go team!

Flipcharm said:

Very interesting. I did not know Kinect wasn't developed by Microsoft.

I wonder what other cool technologies Apple lost by scaring the hell out of inventors...

Guest said:

hmmmmmm, instead of multi touch, maybe we could've multi sensor...... ?

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Now to see how Kinect goes in the market...

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Oh, and MS, unlike Apple, actually sells a very popular game console...

I wonder if they'll eventually make Sims controllable by the Kinect? Cause then we will be able to physically able to act out the mundane aspects of our lives with our virtual selves and we'll have a species wide existentialist crisis.

sMILEY4ever said:

Would I be right to compare Kinect to 3D? Lot of smoke, no cigar.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

for sure kinnect is coming to PC :P ...

Too bad, i think Apple could have made good use of it, yet this isn't a totally exclusive product, anyone can & will someday use 'webcams' as remote controls ...why not after all.

cheers!

Issun said:

treeski said:

This is another win for Microsoft, which they seem to be wracking up lately.

Go team!

Another win?

Guest said:

Apples arrogance hurts it once again. History repeats itself.

nismo91 said:

Kinect for Windows... sounds like a good idea. although it will take years to mature. combined with something like DragonNaturallySpeaking as the voice recognition. then what? remember Jarvis from Iron Man? lol

Puiu Puiu said:

if apple got their hands on this then only apple would have been able to use it. the others? lawsuits

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Now that I know this, this makes me want the Kinect to succeed, so that it somehow proves that Apple made a bad decision by not going with the technology (that is because I don't like Apple). But sadly, Kinect is going to fail, which will indirectly and subliminally demonstrate that Apple made the right decision by not going with it.

gLitCh32 said:

The Kinect looks interesting, but I would really like to see where it goes first. I bought a Wii early on, and while I like some games on it, it basically sits and collects dust.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I used to own an XBOX 360 but after 3 RROD i kinda got fed up but i do still like the xbox just dont want to shell out the money for one plus a new kinect. I have to laugh though at Apple another blunder in there department apple seems to be on a bad streak with products lets see how this keeps going.

theruck said:

kinetics is somehow rasistic system. it has problems with detecting dark-skin people. something simmilar as was on the HP laptops some time ago.

mpribe said:

Another example of Apple's stringent controls ruining a potential business opportunity. I bet Microsoft is loving this press!

thedrelle said:

I know Steve job's company puts out some really nice tech now and again, but i am confused that they develop any working relationships with other bussinesses with this kind of behavior.

Guest said:

Since apple does not sell a gaming console, what's the point of this technology to non gamers? While it might've been cute to scroll through a website by flicking your fingers through the air, you really going to pay 200 extra dollars for that technology? Especially when for document reading right in front of your lap, it makes much more sense just to flicke your finger on pad in front of you? MS spent hundreds of millions and is hoping to sell 3 million of the by this quarter ... Apple meanwhile makes $600 per iPhone sold and basically sells about 3 million phones every two weeks ... This is cute technology for ms to catch up to the wii but that's all it is - cute technology ... Of cfourse these guys wanted apple onboard as "important" technology so it's with some sour grapes they have to settle being on the xbox.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Guest said:

Apples arrogance hurts it once again. History repeats itself.

Well, Steve Jobs practically wrote the book on it.

Guest said:

Apple never had the intention to buy it. They just wanted to see what it was and how it worked. And apparently Apple wasn't impressed.

Guest said:

"somehow rassistic"? It is all in your head! :)

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

I think I'm noticing a trend right now. Before Microsoft seemed to be the bad guy and Mac the good guy. Now Mac seems more like the bad guy and Microsoft the good guy. Maybe they're both the bad guy. XD

compu4 said:

mpribe said:

Another example of Apple's stringent controls ruining a potential business opportunity. I bet Microsoft is loving this press!

Apple is a monopolistic company that seeks complete control over every aspect of its devices; just look at the heavily restricted IPhone and OS X variants.

It's good that Apple did not purchase this technology. If it had purchased it, apple fanatics would have been boasting about their computers' useless motion control capabilities.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Treetops said:

[link]

epic

"Although details are still very sketchy, it's good to know that there is at least one game for hardcore gamers to get excited about."

Really? So they are doing us a favor for making one "hardcore" game?

I'm telling you, Kinect will fail, eventually. Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica explained why. The amount of "hardcore" games that will be availbale for the Kinect can be counted by your left hand. Only.

Probably, Apple saw this shortcoming and decided to do something else. Who knows...

matrix86 matrix86 said:

nismo91 said:

Remember Jarvis from Iron Man? lol

I'm still waiting for my Jarvis. Someday, we will all have a Jarvis in our home....someday...

Guest said:

"This is cute technology for ms to catch up to the wii but that's all it is - cute technology ... Of cfourse these guys wanted apple onboard as "important" technology so it's with some sour grapes they have to settle being on the xbox. "

Your short-sightedness is astounding. This is version 1.

You along with many others will be eating your words in a few years.

Guest said:

That is absolute nonsense. My entire family is using it and not once did we have any problems. Even the automatic recognition works perfectly. Please don't buy in nor promote ridiculous rumors.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Problem is I can count to 31 on my left hand only.

Articfrost said:

I agree apple is a pain in the ass. The computers are overpriced, and there is way too much hype behind them. It's true that they are easy to use, but you loose all the customizability compared other computer companies. And to pass up a technology such as the kinect is reall interesting.

fritz123 said:

too bad for apple. i think its more appropriate for microsoft to have the technology since they manufacture a gaming console. apple wouldnt have much use for it anyway (and btw. their cameras are not THAT good to begin with). the technology is still in its early years. i think this technology will go mainstream in a couple of more years. hopefully the technology will be much better and prices will go down.

posermobile89 said:

Apple seems to be getting boned lately by poor negotiating

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Guest said:

... While it might've been cute to scroll through a website by flicking your fingers through the air, you really going to pay 200 extra dollars for that technology?...

lol like Apple would only charge 200 extra for something which they would proclaim as "magical" and "revolutionary".

I am looking forward to the imat though. For those who haven't seen it [link]

Guest said:

Apple isn't in the Game console market. Haven't been since pippin. I can't imagine this device would work with mobile iOS devices, which is the extent of apples interest in gaming.

treetops treetops said:

I have never owned an apple, the only reason I would not go there way is simply because some new programs take a few months to become mac compatible, though it seems this is slowly disappearing, 10 years ago some game releases took a few extra months to come out for mac, but you never see that anymore.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

LNCPapa said:

Problem is I can count to 31 on my left hand only.

Well, you and your Polydactyly friends can spend 150$ to play 31 half-finished "hardcore" games. After all, there are no buttons, so that means Kinect will neither discriminate you for your skin tone nor for your disabled, 31-finger left hand. Ain't technology grand?

miska_man said:

Can you imagine what the price WOULD have been if Apple got a hold of this?

And the Israeli military first started with this technology? Anyone else find that odd? I guess maybe they've tweaked it slightly and adapted from what they were using/developing it for...

Guest said:

This is such a misleading article! Microsoft got maybe 10% of the technology from Primesense the rest was taken from Microsoft Research groups and around the company. Microsoft is working on natural user interfaces for more than 10 years and it finally pays off big time. Apple would've not been able to come up with such complicated and well rounded tech - they do not have any significant research lab/center. Kinect has too many complex pieces - depth sensing, body segmentation, skeleton tracking, speech recognition, face recognition, hardware, optics, real time GPU processing, novel UI etc. I don't think any company except for Microsoft can develop all that in house.

Guest said:

you think "hardcore" gamers represent the majority of the population? You are wrong. You are a tiny minority. So finally, the majority got the device from Microsoft that they can use to play...

Guest said:

So much Apple envy. Envy is not conducive to happiness what-so-ever.

Just spend the handful of extra $ and get a MacBook Pro or iPhone/iPad and quit all your whining.

Sometimes you get what you pay for. With Microsoft, outdated, copied and/or third-party technology (other companies ideas bought with money) + piles of crapware - Apple, innovation and the best hardware/OS/OOB software in existence.

Bunch of cheapskates you all are if you ask me. Your wives probably all left you or should.

Just kidding ;)

Guest said:

For all those saying Apple screwed up, what do you think they would have done with the technology? They didn't have a console to stick it on, the mac doesn't lead in games, plus the iPhone they were developing wouldn't have the horsepower for it even if it would be a good fit (which it isn't).

This was a smart business decision on Apple's part - it may have been great tech, but they had no way to bring it to market.

Guest said:

If I'm going to move while playing games, I'd rather be outside doing sports.

But yes... Apple is a pain in the ***. Not to mention too girly.

Guest said:

Ya, and like Microsoft didn't have to fix everyones XBox. Twice in many cases. And Vista ws such a glowing success too. Baroooooga! B$ across the port bow!

aj_the_kidd said:

Not that i see this technology beneficial to Apple, I'm grateful that MS picked it up and not Apple. I'm sure Apple would have figured out some way to make it pretentious.

Kinect will be successful, MS have the money and hype to make it so.

white2010 said:

cool tehnology

hope others will follow this cool tech

spyx said:

guys u should check out ifixit they dissasembled the kinect, pretty awesome. anywho anyone with an apple product knows that they limit and overcomplicate thins like crazy this isnt surprising at all, if apple had gotten their hands on this i don't think they would have done much withit anyways i cant see apple really getting involved in gaming

dlen said:

I am waiting for the times when there is no keyboard or a mouse and the only thing that you need to use network is your body.

Demons said:

I bet Microsoft loved stealing this away from Apple. It was a very smart move. Kinect looks like it will be a very good addition to the 360 once they iron it out a little bit and get a few more games with good integration. A PC model would be nice too!

co1rpal1 said:

Interesting....wonder how long until Apple has it's own version on the Kinect?...

bam13 said:

Who knows what┬'s Apple intending to bring on the market...maybe they have something far better and more interesting than kinnect, we┬'ll see

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