Back in July,rumors emerged that Apple was looking to buy PrimeSense, an Isreali company responsible for developments such as the 3D body sensor used in the development of Microsoft Kinect. Despite the company denying the speculation at the time, reports today suggest that the purchase is all but done. According to Calcalist.co.il, Apple played host to a delegation of PrimeSense executives over the past few days to seal a deal worth $345 million.
As we know, Apple often purchases smaller, innovative companies to use their technology in its popular iDevices. Apple purchased Authentec for its fingerprint sensor tech, Siri was also a bought-in company as was Anobit, the manufacturer/developer of Flash chips.
What’s interesting here is trying to figure out what Apple wants with PrimeSense. With Kinect, we’ve already seen what the chip can do. Is the company looking at releasing a TV controlled by gestures, as was rumored a while back? We do know that Apple has researched and applied for patents on various uses behind sensor technology.
One such patent involves a “3D Imaging & Display System.” It would give users a sensor and holographic projector to be placed in front of a user, and enable them to control their TV/Display using gestures and interactions with that sensor. Not only that, but sensors could be placed all around the room, so that you get the system gets a much more accurate “feel” of where you are, and what gestures you’re performing.
It’s all very Minority Report, but it’s not longer something you’d only see in the movies. Like a lot of old science fiction technologies, it’s turning in to reality. Now, if only they’d do the same with tele-porters and replicators from Star Trek, we’d all be delighted.