Apple Buys Kinect Sensor Maker

Apple Buys Kinect Sensor Maker

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Apple doesn't want to say why it bought the Israel-based company PrimeSense.

Apple has bought PrimeSense, the company that makes motion control sensor tech for Xbox's Kinect, at an undisclosed price. Estimates vary, from $300 to $360 million, but Apple isn't about to confirm any figure, nor will it talk about its purchase. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," said an Apple spokesperson.

It's always possible Apple wants in on the Xbox One, if it thinks that Microsoft will win the war to control the living room. But it seems more likely that it bought PrimeSense to develop its own motion devices, or even include it in an Apple TV. New features for the iPad or iPhone are also a possibility, though it would require some modification. For example, PrimeSense technology is part of a successful recent Kickstarted device called the Structure, a miniature 3D scanner meant to be attached to an iPad.

"Usage of gesture-based, touch-less control of devices is one of the big mega trends in the industry right now," said consultant Nitin Bhat of Frost & Sullivan. "From Apple's perspective it looks like an attempt to make its current gadgets a lot more attractive by offering such a feature on them."

Source: BBC

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I always think it's funny when companies go "yeah you can all guess what we're doing, but that doesn't mean we're going to tell you".

They just want the toys to themselves and monopolize the market even further.

vun:
I always think it's funny when companies go "yeah you can all guess what we're doing, but that doesn't mean we're going to tell you".

Not really, if NDA's (Non-disclosure agreements) are involved, which is most likely the case, they simply can not say anything without being sued for breach of contract.

kiri2tsubasa:

vun:
I always think it's funny when companies go "yeah you can all guess what we're doing, but that doesn't mean we're going to tell you".

Not really, if NDA's (Non-disclosure agreements) are involved, which is most likely the case, they simply can not say anything without being sued for breach of contract.

Yeah I understand all that, but is there really much need to be so secretive about it in the first place? And Apple bought them, if anyone's issuing NDAs then it should be them, so would it really kill them to ease off a bit to just say what everyone's guessed as soon as the news leaked? But I suppose they want to keep people talking, with hype being one of their main selling points.

Do trends actually have a quantifiable scale that we can categorize a trend as a, "big mega" one?

Next up:

Apple warp reality and are considered the ones who have "invented" motion-sensing technology and promptly sue Microsoft.

A judge in California awards them a billion dollars.

Investors and customers alike close their eyes, smile wide and receive Apple's hot load of spunk with glee.

I can see motion recognition technology in a mobile device being used as a 3D mouse: setting the phone on the coffee table and the user making hand gestures to control something else (a TV, AppleTV, video game, etc)

I think that a user replaceable battery or an SD card port would be far more useful in an iDevice, though

My guess would be that Apple is working toward a hands-free mouse and keyboard system, which I could see as having a ton of uses in medical applications or space-science research (hands-free operation in a zero-g environment), or maybe they have far (very far) future plans for a holographic UI system in which kinect-like control would be the optimum.

A company keeping tight-lipped about what it is developing, until it is truly ready to reveal it, is not so unusual. It's a means of maintaining a competitive advantage, keep your enemies guessing. If your competitors know everything you're doing or planning to do, then that gives them a major advantage to release a competing product before you and potentially steal market from you (although, some of Apple's competitors who rush to market often release cheap, shoddy crap that's more pain, fail, and frustration than any sort of technological marvel). Pretty much every company does this, but people tend to notice Apple's secrecy more because 1.) it's Apple (tech-sites gotta generate those page-hits for the ad revenue, and news about any other company just doesn't do it as well) and 2.) Apple very often waits until damn near release to actually tell you anything. On point 2, a lot of companies don't say anything at all until they release the product, and even then, you may still be hard pressed to find out anything about it. However, you won't hear anyone say much, if anything at all, about that because of point 1.

Only good news I see coming out of this is that hopefully Microsoft stops using kinect and abandons it like the Virtua Boy was.

Did Microsoft know this was going to happen? Or was it some sort of stealth deal? I really hope the latter, because then I can picture MS's Board sitting down, only for an aide to run up and say "Bosses, ya know the way you really wanted the Xbone to have a Kinect? Well...you kinda maybe should back down from that once I tell you this..." and then the board having a collective "Oh sh*t!" moment.

One thing Apple does well is tweeking existing technology and marketing it to make it mainstream. Maybe with a competitor releasing decent products, M$ will fix the voice recognition on Kinect and get developers to make games that don't have useless and flawed gesture/voice features or aren't throwaway games themselves.

RikuoAmero:
Did Microsoft know this was going to happen? Or was it some sort of stealth deal? I really hope the latter, because then I can picture MS's Board sitting down, only for an aide to run up and say "Bosses, ya know the way you really wanted the Xbone to have a Kinect? Well...you kinda maybe should back down from that once I tell you this..." and then the board having a collective "Oh sh*t!" moment.

MS certainly has supply contracts in place that will prevent Apple from just refusing to sell them the senors.

So the Kinect will not change but the price will increase 4X per unit? Great... -.-

Imagine that, a $700 or $800 Xbone because the Kinect will be $300 or $400 on its own. Joy.

Some applications I can see for this is motion controlled apple T.Vs and iPhones. I'm down for that.

God damn it Apple...

This kind of tech needs to die, not see wide spread use because you hope to make it popular.

Step 1: buy Kinect
Step 2: buy complimentary box called Xbox.
step 3: market reaction
step 4: file for bankruptcy
step 5: watch as the world dances on your grave.

It has begun.

kiri2tsubasa:

vun:
I always think it's funny when companies go "yeah you can all guess what we're doing, but that doesn't mean we're going to tell you".

Not really, if NDA's (Non-disclosure agreements) are involved, which is most likely the case, they simply can not say anything without being sued for breach of contract.

the point is such NDAs shouldn't be there to begin with.

Mr.Tea:
Next up:

Apple warp reality and are considered the ones who have "invented" motion-sensing technology and promptly sue Microsoft.

A judge in California awards them a billion dollars.

Investors and customers alike close their eyes, smile wide and receive Apple's hot load of spunk with glee.

Well, you know, if it works multiple times in a row it may as well be a constant.

Triaed:
I think that a user replaceable battery or an SD card port would be far more useful in an iDevice, though

Wait, you cant replace the batteries in iphones? you can in every other phone ever.

What does this mean then in terms of the Kinect? Do Apple now own the patents/technology rights for Microsoft's Kinect system? In other words, what happens when someone buys an xbone? Who gets what money?

I know that Sony will be taking a cut from every xbox game sold since blu-ray is their tech.

Apple would gain the thanks of the world if they took their hold over Kinect sensors and did bugger all with them so that the Kinect would go under.

It seems like a good fit.
Apple makes gimmicky stuff that would be easier if it had buttons, Apple's audience likes that stuff.
A perfect match.

 

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