Apple buys 3D PrimeSense

The fruity cargo cult Apple has written a $345 million cheque to buy an Israeli outfit which makes chips that allow 3D machine vision.

PrimeSense’s sensing technology, which gives digital devices the ability to observe a scene in three dimensions, was used to help power Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect.

According to Reuters  the company has raised $85 million from Israeli and US venture capital funds such as Canaan Partners Global, Gemini Israel and Genesis Partners.

The company has been a little cagey about making an announcement. It said that it was focused on building a prosperous company while bringing 3D sensing and natural interaction to the mass market in a variety of markets such as interactive living room and mobile devices.

However, a spokeswoman said that it could not comment on what any of its partners, customers or potential customers are doing. Apparently it does not “relate to rumours or recycled rumours” – well who does really?

This is the second Israeli chipmaker which has fallen under the direct control of Jobs’ Mob. Apple bought flash storage chipmaker Anobit in January 2012. Curiously there is no information yet about how the move will effect Microsoft’s Xbox. It is likely that Apple will want to use the technology in a console or gadget of its own, and it is hardly going to want Vole using it.