Apple buys company behind Kinect - could be integrating gesture into TV or iPhone

David Ludlow
26 Nov 2013
Apple Kinect

Apple has paid $360m for the company that helped build the Xbox Kinect

Apple has bought PrimeSense, the 3D sensor company that helped develop the Mirosoft Kinect, which made its debut on the Xbox 360. An updated version now ships will all Xbox One consoles.

Kinect is designed to let gamers play by moving their bodies or using voice commands, ditching the traditional controller. Now Apple has the technology to do the same thing, after buying PrimeSense for a reported $360m.

Apple, as usual, hasn't said what it wants the technology, releasing a simple statement that simply says, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

While it seems unlikely that Apple is planning to launch its own games console, there's still plenty that it could still want the technology for. Top of the list, is the much rumoured Apple TV, which was first hinted at in Steve Jobs' biography. So far, we haven't seen any sign of the product, but the purchase of PrimSense could bring it one-step closer, with gesture technology creating a new way of interacting with TV.

Of course, gesture isn't just important with larger products, as the mobile products could also benefit from the technology. With the Galaxy S4, Samsung introduced a form of gesture control, with the smartphone pausing video content when you look away from the screen. With nothing similar in the iPhone 5S, its not hard to see Apple using its new acquisition to add new gesture controls to the upcoming iPhone 6.

Either way, the purchase signals that Apple is ready to start using gesture for a user interface, the only questions are, when and in what?

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