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Apple acquires the company behind Microsoft's KinectWe could see PrimeSense's tech in everything from an Apple TV to an iPhone. New rumors about 4K displays for the new Mac Pro, and our giveaway winners.
-What's happening? Brian Tong here and welcome to the Apple Byte for all the good and bad inside the world of Apple on this Thanksgiving break. Plus, the winners of our Speck case giveaway. And let's get to the show and it's now official. Apple has acquired PrimeSense, the company behind Microsoft's Kinect motion sensor for reportedly around $345 million. Now, Apple reps confirmed the deal to CNET and this is exciting because we all know how this could play out with the Apple TV, but it goes beyond that. PrimeSense's newest 3D sensor is called the Capri, not those Capris, and it's a system on a chip that's small enough to be incorporated into mobile devices like phones, tablets, laptops, and more. And I don't anticipate us to be playing something like Dance Central on an iPad any time soon even if I want to. Now, their technology can also be used in 3D scanners like this one called Sense by 3D Systems to create accurate 360-degrees scans of real-world objects that can then be printed. Apple acquired AuthenTec and their fingerprint sensor back in July 2012 and touch ID on the iPhone 5S was the first implementation of it. PrimeSense's tech will also take time to incorporate, but I'm pretty excited to see how Apple will bring some new innovation from this to their new product lines. -And we've also talked about how touch ID could potentially open the floodgates for mobile payments in the past. We're still far behind in the U.S., but a job posting shows Apple's looking for a payment software engineer that will help build a next generation payment platform that will push the boundaries in new markets for Apple retail. Big words, I know, but NFC payments are still clunky here and there have been recent reports about Apple installing iBeacon into their stores so that you will get information delivered to your phone based on your location in the story since it will know what's on the shelf you're looking at because that's not creepy at all. iBeacons could be part of this next generation payment system Apple is hiring for. I want my phone to be a true easy to use digital wallet, but we'll see how it all comes together. Now, let's check out some Apple PANs in a new revelation from website, Unwired View, shows Apple's plan to give the touch ID button trackpad capabilities. For example, you could PAN over a map that's displayed on a screen by swiping in any direction over the touch ID sensor. It can even detect revolving your fingertip around the touch ID button versus twisting it. And yes, I'm still talking about touch ID, but just think of it as taking the home button to the next level to be used for navigation or different functions based on gestures with its 500 dpi resolution for detection and that's some real cool stuff. Now, a recent PAN was also awarded to the big 8 for a refocusible camera with light field technology that could be used in a device like an iPhone. Now, if light field technology sounds familiar, the Lytro camera might ring a bell that allows to refocus on image taken after it's been shot. Apple mentions the Lytro is prior art in the PAN, but also states its own microlens array can produce higher quality images because of a higher spatial resolution. The PAN also allows Apple to pursue this either with a standalone product or within a mobile device. And I know I could use this on my phone because it seems like every stranger that takes a picture for me, takes horrible pictures. All right, let's hit some quick bytes in followup. We talked about the large screen 12.9-inch iPad that's rumored to already be in production last week. Digitimes is now reporting that Quanta Computer has landed its own contract with Apple to mass produce the tablet for the second half of 2014. And Quanta is also competing for iWatch production orders that's being targeted for a second quarter 2014 launch according to the report. Also, the recent introduction of new 27-inch and 32-inch 4K displays from AU Optronics has sparked speculation that these could be the displays used for Apple's next Thunderbolt display with a new Mac Pro coming in December. Now, onlookers have been awaiting for any technology that would even allow the Big A to offer a 4K display alongside the Mac Pro, but again we'll keep following this. And finally, a great story benefiting Product Red. We've talked about how Apple's own Jony Ive and designer Marc Newson worked together to create several one of a kind products to benefit Product Red. Their all-red Mac Pros sold for $977,000 with the desktop originally estimated to sell at 60,000 and, you know, it looks really cool if you slap a Coca Cola logo on it. Then the all-gold Apple ear pods sold for $461,000 and I just missed the winning bid by $460,999, and their special edition Leica camera we showcased sold for $1,805,000 and that's why they call it one of a kind. All right, let's get to the winners of our Speck case giveaway last week. I asked them to tell me what time is way past my bedtime. And the correct answer was 12:01 a.m. I'm telling you, all this, this isn't an accident. So, congrats go to our Twitter winners, Fernando or @SoOfficalTray_ and Patty Canyon who says 12:01 a.m. is past my bedtime too 'cause I'm already dreaming about next week's Apple Byte. All right, I'm a sucker for that one. And our e-mail winners, Sylvia Parks, Randy Chang, and Eduardo Lopez, who asked how do you manage to stick the cases to your nipples like that? Eduardo, it's magic. So, congrats to all of you and I'll be in touch. And if you didn't win, Speck is doing a 10 percent discount off everything on their online store with the code, CNET-SPECK. That's good until December the 8th. All right, that's gonna do it for this week's show. Send me your deepest thoughts to the firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @BrianTong if it fits in 140 characters. I'm Brian Tong. Thanks for watching. We'll see you all next time for another bite of the Apple.