Apple Reportedly Set to Acquire Israeli 3D Body Sensing Firm PrimeSense [Updated]


Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
20,651
22,314
What it means is Apple is once again stealing others ideas but on here people will act like Apple invented it.
What idea exactly has Apple stolen here? 1) it's not even confirmed Apple purchases this company and 2) if they have we don't know exactly what the tech will be used for.
 

Pilgrim1099

Suspended
Apr 30, 2008
1,110
596
From the Midwest to the Northeast
The motion-control thing seems rather faddish if you ask me; imprecise and not inherently intuitive. I would prefer omnipresent voice control a-la Star Trek personally.
Sorry but Star Trek reality is NOT here yet nor perfected. Wait until 20 years and then AI will be good enough.

Motion control is more ideal than voice. Let's say you have strep throat and can't talk, how are you gonna talk to it? Or a person has throat cancer and cannot talk? Think about that one.

It's the voice control that's faddish. Motion is more intuitive.

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Sounds good to me! I'd love to have a hands-off interface. Repetitive Stress Injuries are a real thing. The less I have to move the mouse and click and type all day, the better. We're years off from that though.

As for this company, I don't think Apple has plans for some kind of hand-waving TV remote. Could they be developing a competitor to the Xbox One? That's possible, considering the new game controller API in iOS 7 and iBeacon support. Something that plays games, but also provides a media experience, using iPhones and iPads as controllers and second-screen experiences.

But it's possible this tech could also be used in iOS devices. Didn't Apple file a patent on a screen that doubles as a camera a few years ago? Combine this with PrimeSense's tech, and now the iOS device can see your hands before they touch the screen. This could enable pressure-sensitive touches (by tracking the fingers as they move) and more precise gesture support. Possibly also more performant facial feature recognition, such as eye tracking.
I suspect it's for motion control for the Mac. Not the tv because XBox One already has that going. Microsoft Kinect for PC was for, well, the PC so I believe it'll be part of the OS. Maybe iPad or iPhone for a hands free interaction when working in the kitchen or such.

If they do it for TV then it's not surprising but it won't be considered "new". Microsoft already beat Apple to the punch on that category a long time ago.

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I'm still wondering why a 30+ year old white yuppie mother is playing a video game. Really trying hard to market that thing as a family/household device aren't they? It couldn't possibly be allowed in the living room unless the wife approves.
This girl would like a word with you:

http://youtu.be/WQS7lB8iR-k

I don't have a problem with women over 30 who are gamers. Who cares? If they game, then good for them. And one more thing, I've been gaming since 1981.
 

MacsAre1

macrumors member
Apr 16, 2005
60
43
Florida
Apple Kinect

We've been waiting a long time for Apple TV to have apps. If Apple is playing their cards right, they're probably going to add motion control as a standard input for Apple TV iOS apps to use before they open it to developers, thus creating another excellent playground for innovation. I'm so excited I want to wave my iPad towards my TV to move the video onto it. ;-)

Forget the whole discussion about set top box vs. all-in-one. Doesn't matter. Apple could do both and the interface and functionality would be the same as TVs aren't touchscreens.
 

rotax

macrumors regular
May 17, 2010
133
66
From 2006:

It's been discovered now that Apple has also filed for a method to create displays that integrate image sensing elements that can act like a camera. Often times, when video conferencing, people tend to look at the person on the screen and not directly at the camera, giving the impression that the person is not directly talking to you. This has been on the drawing boards for many years, and while attempts have been made to mount the camera more to eye level, the direction of a person's eye is always noticeably off. From the patent:

A device comprising: a display area; an array of display elements located within the display area, each display element capable of displaying a pixel of information, either alone or in combination with other display elements; and an array of image elements located within the display area, each image element being capable of capturing visual information from a source in front of the display area; wherein each image element has a lens that does not interfere with any display elements.

With the new patent, Apple is inventing a way where an entire screen, or a portion of a screen can act as a camera. The patent talks about integrating hundreds if not thousands of tiny image sensing elements between and around those elements that produce images. In a LCD display for instance, there are small spaces that are unused for actually display images bewteen each TFT pixel. This space Apple says, can be used to integrate light sensors, that when used with special software, can stitch together an entire image based on what the array of senors capture.

As of now, no prototype has been manufactured, but the idea and concept is in place. Apple is hoping that this technology will not only be used on computer displays but also mobile devices such as cell phones and PDAs. The applications for such a technology is already in demand and it will be interesting to see where Apple will take the technology.

Do not assume that the implementation will look anything like what the Kinect sensors look like. They want the engineering experience learned from that implementation, but Apple will always be unique and offer hardware and software integration in their solutions as only they can to make a far superior product that "just works". The image sensors can be comprised of a variety of types such as IR etc. that can operate in a variety of operational situations and they can be angled to take in light from a field far wider than the screen direction itself.
 

petsounds

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,481
496
I suspect it's for motion control for the Mac. Not the tv because XBox One already has that going. Microsoft Kinect for PC was for, well, the PC so I believe it'll be part of the OS. Maybe iPad or iPhone for a hands free interaction when working in the kitchen or such.

If they do it for TV then it's not surprising but it won't be considered "new". Microsoft already beat Apple to the punch on that category a long time ago.
Yeah, I could see it being used in the Mac to solve the ergonomic problems (I think it was) Steve said he had with using touchscreens on laptops and displays.

If they use it on a TV/gaming device, I doubt they'd go the Microsoft waving-your-arms-around route. I can't really see the usefulness in the living room honestly, but maybe they have some clever ideas to make the UI easier.
 

Gasu E.

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2004
4,421
2,222
Not far from Boston, MA.
Why didn't Microsoft buy PrimeSense?
It really doesn't make a lot of sense for a major corporation to buy every single company from which it is licensing technology. Apple has a much wider electronics product portfolio, and is likely to be able to use this technology more broadly than Microsoft can-- in other words, it's worth more to Apple. Undoubtedly, MS has an ironclad contract to use this technology, which is all they really need.

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What it means is Apple is once again stealing others ideas but on here people will act like Apple invented it.
Paying over $300M hardly qualifies as stealing. By that standard, you yourself have stolen the food you are eating and the clothes you are wearing. Or, do you claim to have grown all your own food and sewn your own clothing? :rolleyes:
 

9000

macrumors 6502
Sep 29, 2013
496
0
Hyrule
But you don't need a remote. Finding a remote takes more effort than waving your hand. Although this would prove very inconvenient for the handicapped..
Just leave the remote controller next to the chair. Nothing beats buttons.

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Maybe it's for car applications. Would be even better than Siri, which I use all the time for controlling my music without looking away from the road.
 

Gasu E.

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2004
4,421
2,222
Not far from Boston, MA.
Relating to Apple's business, why do journalists always seem to be so excited to declare the nationality of the company in question when it is Israel vs when it is other countries?
Typically US journalists report the nationality of small foreign companies that are purchased by major US companies. It's just that you only notice it when the acquired company is Israeli. Maybe you have a bug up about Israel? This seems common among Europeans.
 

9000

macrumors 6502
Sep 29, 2013
496
0
Hyrule
I'm still wondering why a 30+ year old white yuppie mother is playing a video game. Really trying hard to market that thing as a family/household device aren't they? It couldn't possibly be allowed in the living room unless the wife approves.
Yeah, everyone knows that women only play video games if they're black.

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What it means is Apple is once again stealing others ideas but on here people will act like Apple invented it.
"Steal"
"Apple Reportedly set to Acquire..." aka buy. For millions of dollars.

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It is weird how people react to not fat people so negatively these days.
Well, the majority of Americans are fat, so they're jealous.

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No matter how much I try, I still don't "get" the fun of motion sensing games. I hate it because it makes me feel like I'm groaning about "kids these days with their crazy play station TV games" but really I just don't find it very intuitive.
I don't know. I don't like it, and nobody I know likes it. Almost all of the best Wii games have the option to use the GameCube controller or just avoid using any motion control on the Wiimote, and that number is sadly limited.
 
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Exio

macrumors regular
May 14, 2012
229
1
So Snapchat get an offer of $3 Billion, and these guys get $345 Million? What a ****ed up world we live in....
 

iZac

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2003
2,009
1,065
Shanghai
I'd like to think that the full body camera scanning is just one part of PrimeSense's technology and R&D portfolio. If they developed the "Kinnect" system years ago, think about how nuanced and varied their R&D could now be. Facial scanning, finger / gesture scanning, etc.

For instance this could feed into iWatch "Jedi" style gestures to compensate for the tiny screen. Could be facial recognition / scanning for phone functions. Maybe it's even a more functional low power eye scanning system for optimising glasses free 3D effects for the device user?

These are all just random thoughts that have no basis in reality and although it could naturally be just to buy the "Kinnect" tech, I believe would be a limited way to think about it.
 

Jbenn425

macrumors regular
Nov 16, 2013
162
0
New Jersey
Typically US journalists report the nationality of small foreign companies that are purchased by major US companies. It's just that you only notice it when the acquired company is Israeli. Maybe you have a bug up about Israel? This seems common among Europeans.
And yet Europeans make up a huge chunk of Israel's tourism industry.
 

9000

macrumors 6502
Sep 29, 2013
496
0
Hyrule
So Snapchat get an offer of $3 Billion, and these guys get $345 Million? What a ****ed up world we live in....
Motion control has been thus far very goofy as well. The power of dollar votes :/

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Relating to Apple's business, why do journalists always seem to be so excited to declare the nationality of the company in question when it is Israel vs when it is other countries? It's not only Macrumors, but other US tech bloggers too.

This is a genuine question, I'm not trying to make a point.

I'm in the UK and just wondering whether in the US there is significant interest in Israeli business activity, or whether it is Apple specific - possibly because Apple didn't make any Israeli-based company acquisitions whilst Syrian-born Jobs at the helm? Or something else?
I never noticed that. You're right. It's not just for Apple, though, and I doubt Steve Jobs's ethnicity has anything to do with it.
 
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whorlycares

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2013
11
0
This buy is related to USER IDENTIFICATION. So the iTV knows which member of the family is using it, and can adjust settings, services, content accordingly.

As much as I want to, I really don't see gesturing as being a good way to control anything except a video game.

- A remote with a few buttons, and built in accelerometer/compass may be the way to go. You just flick it around and follow a cursor on the screen like a mouse.

-Or how about a remote with a curved touchscreen, you swipe your finger over it and follow a cursor on the screen. To type, you look down and the remote and use a virtual keyboard. It would use "paper white" low energy screen, and BLE.
Interesting theory....
Sadly, you lost me completely when you portrayed it incorrectly as fact.
Unless of course, you work at Apple.... have 1st hand knowledge of this product and are here breaking your nda and destroying your career to share some knowledge with with some fellow forum users. If that is the case- my apologies, sir.
If not- apparently you haven't yet learned in life: it is pompous & outright untruthful when you have NOT THE SLIGHTEST IDEA of Apple's plans to make a statement like "This buy is related to USER IDENTIFICATION", making it sound like you know (which you do not). Perhaps "I believe this buy is related to USER IDENTIFICATION" or "It would make sense to me if this buy is related to USER IDENTIFICATION" would be slightly less disingenuous & misleading??
Here- I will provide an example:
In my opinion, if all Apple wanted was profiles.... it would make MUCH more sense to have pictures of family members that you could select via remote.. especially considering the fact that often multiple family members are in front of the tv at once.... How does your hypothetical "face recognizer" know which profile to load? I personally think that Apple is starting to develop some more sophisticated body motion controls to couple with their current multitouch gestures. I suppose we will see in the upcoming year.
 
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MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,118
9,213
So if I bought an iPhone 5S, I actually stole it?

Didn't know if I pay for something it's stolen.
You missed the point completely.

Now if you buy Apple the company, you gets a treasure chest of patents etc.

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Microsoft is doing what they do best. They use a technology then dump the company that made it and continue to use it.
They must have awesome lawyers !!!!

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If Apple buys primesense, then Apple will own the original invention, the inventors will work for Apple, and thus Microsoft will be the copier.
So is that how innovation works now ;) ?
 

peterdevries

macrumors 68040
Feb 22, 2008
3,142
1,117
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
What it means is Apple is once again stealing others ideas but on here people will act like Apple invented it.
You don't really get how big corporations work do you? Microsoft didn't invent Kinect either. They licensed it. It's not stealing by a long shot, but a legitimate business practice to acquire other companies. It is how large corporations compensate for the increasing inability to innovate internally. All large corporations do this. Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Apple, Blackberry, the list goes on and on.

Take apart a Surface tablet, iPad or laptop, and you will find hundreds if not thousands licensed parts. Ever read the user agreements? Look at the back, it is full of license statements.

These arguments about stealing are annoying and nonsense and only emphasise the ignorance that some people have about how large corporations, competition and innovation actually work.

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So is that how innovation works now ;) ?
I can recommend this little article about big corporations and innovation.

http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/10/11-ways-big-companies-undermine-innovation/

It explains why these things work like they do. It's not a matter of not wanting to innovate, but a consequence of growth, risk management / appetite and focus on established business lines that is the reason for a decrease in innovative power in growing organisations.