Apple Inc. has confirmed being in negotiations to pay an estimated $350 million to acquire the Israel-based manufacturer, PrimeSense Ltd. A spokesperson for Apple Inc., Kristin Huguet, confirmed their plans this last Saturday during a telephone interview. PrimeSense develops motion-tracking chip sets and 3D sensors for electronic devices.
During the interview, Huguet, gave a canned response that Apple Inc. has purchased other tech companies in the past, but like always, they never discuss their purpose or future plans.
PrimeSense has been developing new technology that is able to detect movements and depth-sensing objects within a 3D space. The technology then translates the info from a 3D camera into depth and color. PrimeSense has said that their technology would allow someone to take a picture of a room in their house, then use that data when furniture shopping, to make sure that whatever they plan to purchase will actually fit into their space. The PrimeSense technology can even be used for indoor navigation on Apple Inc. devices, or 3D catalogues. Their technology was used in the first Microsoft Kinnect system for their Xbox 360.
Rumors have said that Apple Inc. is interested in the 3D motion-sensing technology for iTV and smart-watches. Plans for the sensor technology can be utilized to turn a user’s hand gestures into commands and controls for devices such as a TV, not to mention the obvious use of the 3D technology and how it can be used within games.
According to Bloomberg, PrimeSense has garnered much success in the past from venture investors. Silver Lake Sumeru, Genesis Partners, Gemini Israel Funds, and Canaan Partners are just a few investment groups that helped the innovative chip manufacturer to raise over $80 million.
Apple Inc. has been known to buy chip makers in the past. In January 2012 Apple bought, Anobit, another Israel-based company that sells high-performance flash-memory controllers. That acquisition is said to have been worth around $400 to $500 million.
One other chip based company that has been formally acquired by Apple this year, is Passif Semiconductor. In 2010, they also purchased the Texas-based company, Intrinsity, which designs circuit boards and makes microprocessors and semiconductors. Back in 2008 Apple also purchased the company, P.A. Semi. Their technology was of interest to Apple for developing low-power processors for Apple’s line of portable devices. P.A. Semi’s acquisition now aids Apple devices to utilize less battery power than some of the other high-power processors in use by their competitors.
A few other recent acquisitions by Apple include: Locationary, Embark, and HopStop.com that develops online transit-based navigation. Just last year Apple purchased the company, WiFiSLAM, which makes indoor location-sensing technology that allows a user to navigate when they are inside a building.
With Apple Inc. keeping a tight lid on their all of their future plans, it’s all speculation and guessing to what they are really up to for the next generation of Apple devices and future Apple services. But with PrimeSense being a 3D motion-sensor and chip manufacturer, it makes that future look pretty bright and exciting for all Apple Inc. users and fans.
By Brent Matsalla