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Apple nabs 3D sensing company PrimeSense

Apple has officially finalised the much-rumoured (and now verifiably true) acquisition of Israeli-based PrimeSense, a company which focuses on 3D sensor tech, for an undisclosed figure, reportedly around the US$360 million mark.

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Founded in 2005, PrimeSense’s Natural User Interface tech is used in a range of industries, and is most notable for being the motion sensing engine in the Microsoft Kinect. According to Forbes,PrimseSense expanded its offerings into the embedded 3D sensor market, as well as providing “system-on-a-chip” solutions, and now PrimeSense’s motion sensor tech powers over 24 million devices worldwide.

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet stated about the acquisition (in familiar fashion) that, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The finalised deal marks the end of months of rumours, and no doubt, negotiation. As to just how Apple will incorporate PrimeSense’s technology into its own devices is up for speculation, but one could imagine its use in the Apple Smartwatch or the Apple smart TV, if not being adapted, in some capacity, to its mobile offerings as well.

Apple has previously acquired software navigation companies, Embark, WiFiSLAM, and Locationary earlier this year and also acquired AuthenTec to build the Touch ID system it incorporated into the iPhone 5S. This is the second Israeli-based acquisition Apple has made, after the purchase of flash memory controller supplier Anobit, for around US$400 million. Apple has access to US$146.8 billion in cash and investments though, so we can be assured that this won’t be the last acquisition it makes on its quest to regain its status as a manufacturer of ever-innovative devices.

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