Apple is in talks to acquire the Israeli firm behind Microsoft’s original Kinect sensor technology, according to local newspaper Calcalist. The report claims a delegation of PrimeSense senior executives visited Apple’s engineering offices in recent days, and though the deal is apparently still in its early stages, Apple has already offered to pay somewhere in the range of $280 to $300 million for the fabless semiconductor company.
Apple has expressed interest in motion sensing and control in the past, having acquired several patents and licensing a few others. Acquiring PrimeSense’s technology and IP would be another step in that direction, and could bolster Apple’s offerings in the living room -- whether that involves the Apple TV or the long-rumored iTV.
Besides Kinect, PrimeSense also collaborated with Asus on the 3D sensing technology for its WAVI Xtion PC, and it has also worked with companies in retail, robotics, mobile computing and healthcare industries. In all, the company’s 3D scanning technology is used in more than 20 million devices around the world.
It wouldn’t be the first time Apple and PrimeSense discuss a potential deal, either. Back in 2010 news surfaced that before approaching Microsoft, PrimeSense pitched it’s motion sensing technology to Apple. The company felt it was a natural fit for Cupertino, but ultimately negotiations broke down due to Apple’s insistence on secrecy, contractual demands, legal agreements, NDAs and essentially being “a pain in the ass” to deal with.
Neither company has officially commented on the rumours -- nor we expect them to. While not denying the meetings outright, a source at PrimeSense speaking with TechCrunch described the report at “BS” based on unverified and twisted hints, suggesting that the company is worth several times more than $280 million.