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Apple acquires Kinect company for US$345m

Apple has reportedly acquired PrimeSense, the Israeli company responsible for the technology in Microsoft's Kinect camera, although its purpose for the purchase isn't yet clear.

Apple has reportedly acquired PrimeSense, the Israeli company responsible for the technology in Microsoft's Kinect camera.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

According to a report in the Hebrew business newspaper Calcalist, which did not cite any sources, Apple has finalised a deal to purchase the Israeli 3D sensor developer for US$345 million. In July, CNET reported that Apple was in discussions to purchase PrimeSense for US$280 million.

The Tel-Aviv-based PrimeSense is the company behind the Kinect sensor, introduced in 2010 for the Microsoft Xbox 360. The motion-sensing Kinect is capable of tracking up to six individuals at one time and can track two Xbox 360 players simultaneously, with analysis of up to 20 joints at once.

PrimeSense declined to comment when contacted by CNET, and Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

It's not clear what Apple might want with PrimeSense; it's possible that the technology may, in years to come, find its way into the long-rumoured Apple television. The 3D-sensing technology inside the Kinect is hugely powerful, has applications beyond just gameplay and could even be used to track customers inside Apple's retail stores.