Apple to buy PrimeSense

Apple is reportedly in talks to acquire Israeli motion-tech firm PrimeSense, the company responsible for the inner workings of the Kinect.

Israel’s Calcalist reports the two had been in recent weeks and a delegation of Apple engineers visited in early July, an unusual move for the company.

Calcalist notes that the talks are at an early stage, but expects a potential sale to reach $280 million – not bad for PrimeSense, which raised initial venture capital funds of $85 million.

PrimeSense’s technology is licensed to power Microsoft’s Kinect. It lets device cameras understand scenes in 3D.

If the buy does go ahead, it is likely to do with Apple ramping its capabilities in motion sensing technology, possibly for an Apple TV update or similar set top box. There could even be potential applications for Apple’s long-rumoured smartwatch, which is understood to be at the design stage.

Owning PrimeSense’s technology would put Apple at something of an advantage in gesture recognition, too, not to mention giving the company an interesting list of licensees.