Apple confirms purchase of 3D sensor firm

Apple has confirmed the purchase of Israel-based 3D microchip company PrimeSense in a reported $300m-plus deal suggesting the iPhone manufacturer may introduce motion-sensor technology into its existing suite of products, or possibly the much-touted Apple ‘iTV’.

The sale was confirmed yesterday (24 November) by an Apple spokeswoman, with further reports valuing the transaction between $300m and $360m, although the technology giant did not comment further on the purchase. 

PrimeSense manufacturers 3D sensors and its most high-profile work to date has been its involvement in the production of Microsoft’s Kinect, which lets users of the Xbox console interact with the device remotely via gestures. The company’s website claims it ‘revolutionises the way people interact with digital devices in almost any environment’ from the living room to the shop floor (see video). 

Neither Apple or PrimseSense has commented further on their post-purchase plans, but reports citing sources close to both parties focus on the potential for the microchip manufacturer’s technology to be included in the (as yet unconfirmed) Apple ‘iTV’. 

Reports that the launch of Apple ‘iTV’ was being prepared were reignited earlier this year when influential supply chain analyst Brian White – citing sources with Apple suppliers – forecast such a device will launch with a motion-sensitive ‘iRing’ and have the capability to be used for video conferencing.    

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