Apple Confirms Acquisition of 3D Body Sensing Firm PrimeSense

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has confirmed its acquisition of Israeli 3D body sensing firm PrimeSense, reports AllThingsD. The move comes after months of speculation, as Apple was first reported in July to be looking to acquire the firm behind the original 3D body sensing technology used by Microsoft for its Kinect platform. The negotiations gained notoriety again earlier this month as Apple was said to be on the verge of a deal, agreeing to purchase PrimeSense for approximately $345 million, but was held up due to a final legal issue.

    The report also notes that while PrimeSense became known for developing Microsoft's first-generation Kinect sensor, Microsoft has since deployed its own homegrown sensor technology for the current generation Kinect, which currently ships with the Xbox One.

    Apple has expressed interest in Kinect-like motion control of such products as appliances and vehicle instrumentation, but the main area where the company has been rumored to be using the technology is in television. Reports have indicated that Apple is looking at Kinect-like motion control for its future television set, although the project is said to be seeing continuing delays due to difficult content negotiations with Apple shifting its near-term focus to wearables such as the "iWatch."

    Article Link: Apple Confirms Acquisition of 3D Body Sensing Firm PrimeSense
  2. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    Well, ****** Kinect tech was the beginning of the end for Xbox, so I hope it doesn't mean the same here.
  3. osx11 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2011
    Apple is shifting its attention from a rumored speculative product to another rumored speculative product. Got it! Thanks MacRumors.
  4. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Was it? Was it, really?
  5. AngerDanger macrumors 601


    Dec 9, 2008
    Finally, I can learn all the gestures and nuanced body movements of Jony Ive during a product video.
  6. irDigital0l Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    Tech was cool, the problem was the implementation of it in games.

    Its more of a hassle than innovative.
  7. smoledman macrumors 68000

    Oct 17, 2011
    This is a rare case of Apple getting MS's sloppy seconds. Microsoft doesn't even use PrimeSense tech anymore in Kinect v2. They have some in-house "time of flight" technology that transcends what PrimeSense has done. We'll see if this is valuable at all to Apple.
  8. Eriamjh1138@DAN macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2007
    BFE, MI
    It's still easier than developing from scratch.
  9. smoledman macrumors 68000

    Oct 17, 2011
    I would figure Apple has a lot of house-built motion technology in their iSight camera already. Maybe they got this for the patents.
  10. taptic macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
    Now, instead of holding down the home button to start Siri, you can act like you're sword-fighting Captain Hook and Siri will come on!*

    *Must have phone at an angle of exactly 90˚ to the table you are standing in front of and have your mother (or daughter) by your side helping you fight.
  11. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    I really hate voice and motion controls. Buttons are silent and elegant solutions to most problems if implemented thoughtfully. Please World, don't chuck out the wheel until you've invented hover-boards.
  12. Dorje Sylas macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    Because it wasn't used well. Partly because it wasn't "standard" hardware, partly because most developers and big publishers who have the money to push through development on Microsofts platform aren't geared to take risks on 'new' technologies.

    Where the Kinect style of sense has gained ground is in areas other then direct control. Some of the most innovative uses have been as low power close rage LIDAR or 3D object scanning.

    The things Apple would/could use this for could go well beyond what Microsoft has done. For a start what would happen if Apple got this into a phone or tablet form factor. Portable "home"-grade object scanning combined with positions sensitive stitching... scan your home in 3D and play with rearranging heavy objects and redecorating. Place virtual objects from physical product sellers (like IKEA) and use Augmented Reality to play then order direct.

    Microsoft only grudgingly opened an API for Kinect on PC once people started hacking their own and showing how useful it really can be. Apple would be more likely to back this as a 'thing' in Xcode.

    By the time Apple could get this into a portable device the iDevices will likely have the graphical power to deal with it. At least at this more consumer grade quality.
  13. jonyive4 macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2013
    Kinect fails because of the lag time. Imagine controlling your computer with a mouse that responds with a latency of 150-300ms. If Apple can cut that lag time down to <50ms, then this tech is golden.


    kinect works mainly on the information collected from the depth sensor. isight works on computer vision (without the depth information).
  14. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Apple acquired Authentec in July of 2012 and TouchID was launched a little over a year later.

    Makes me curious about what Apple has planned for the end of 2014.
  15. Ieo macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2009
    In my opinion, the most obvious use for this technology is TV. I know Kinect leaves a bitter taste in people's mouths, but just because this is the firm that produced the original Kinect technology doesn't mean it will be a Kinect clone. They are fully capable of improving the tech and creating a new product.

    I can see this technology being polished in the typical Apple fashion to be pretty sleek, a little gimmicky, but overall functional. People will still complain, but in the end it'll work. I doubt it will be another Kinect 1.0.
  16. Wiesenlooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2010
    It sometimes seems like Apple already is
    Working on a comparative product and THEN buys the company just to get more talent/insight
    For the project.

    Everything takes more than 12 month to produce. Specially when you want apple type near- perfect execution.
  17. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    I see this acquisition tying in with several of the patents apple has filed for TV control. One such instance involves recognizing when a child walks into a room with a movie playing, it pauses the movie automatically because the child settings realize that someone under the age of the preset is in the room.

    Lots of exciting things PrimeSense technology enables, take a look at their concept videos.
  18. Nahaz macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2010
    A lot of people might be speculating that this was bought for some innovation towards the Apple TV. What if Apple wanted it because of the motion side of the device for it's devices?

    Apple could be looking at miniaturizing the technology into it's iPhone and iPad devices at a later date. They may use it for something similar to air gestures on the Galaxy S4, or maybe facial recognition along with iTouch.

    There's probably a lot of stuff that Apple buys just to have the patent technology later for future devices. It may sit in a warehouse for 5 years before any of the technology is used.
  19. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    I read the quoted article, and it doesn't actually say anywhere that Apple has confirmed anything at all. Apple's answer to the question whether they bought PrimeSense wasn't "yes" or "no", but "Apple buys smaller companies from time to time", which means nothing.
  20. ghost187 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2010
    Guess we know what "S" is going to stand for when the iPhone 6S comes out (sensors)!
  21. BornAgainApple macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2009
    First Anobit and now PrimeSense. These are great acquisitions of solid Israeli technology.
  22. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    Perhaps it won't be too long before we find out what Jobs meant about TV when he said, "I've finally cracked it."
  23. HiVolt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 29, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    Yea, i dont want a company watching what goes on in my living room...

    It may be "off", but its probably doing something...

    I know there is little privacy in the modern connected world, but I stop at having devices that can visually monitor whats going on...

    I'm ok with using a standard remote for changing channels on a TV, i don't need to look like i'm swatting a fly.
  24. Parasprite macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    If Apple did this and anyone figured it out (which would be really easy to figure out, the bandwidth use alone would be a dead giveaway), you have no idea how many lawsuits would happen because of it. Not only is this very very illegal pretty much anywhere, but it would be catastrophic to business. Considering that that have almost nothing to gain but everything to lose, I highly doubt they would ever even consider this being a thing.
  25. MattInOz macrumors 68030


    Jan 19, 2006
    Well Apple did have a patent for using the growing pixel count on screens to embed an grid of camera pixels in to the screen as well. I wonder if for iDevices they could use that sort of field camera to use with this sort of gesture technology.

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