Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to acquire PrimeSense Ltd, an Israel based developer of chips for three dimensional machine visions for around $350 million, according to a report from Bloomberg citing a source familiar with the matter.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” a company spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told Reuters via email.
Sensing technology interests Apple
Prime Sense develops sensing technology that enables the digital devices to take a three dimensional scene, and the same technology has been used in Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect. PrimeSense’s investors include Canaan Partners, Silver Lake, Gemini Israel Funds and Genesis Partners, according to Bloomberg.
PrimeSense develops depth-sensing technology that enables 3D camera in a mobile to support apps like indoor navigation tools of 3D shopping catalogs. The company claims that innovative technology developed by them enables the person to click picture of their living room into a furniture store to know that whether a sofa they are planning to purchase would be a fit in the space. The digital devices once equipped with these technologies can track movements and objects thereby converting them into depth and color.
Apple’s Strategic Startup acquisition
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may use PrimeSense motion detectors for Apple smart TV product as envisioned by late Apple co-Founder Steve Jobs in his biography by Walter Isaacson. However, Apple smart TV launch has been postponed due to content deal issue. There is no Apple smart TV launch news in sight until the second half of 2014 or later. So, one will have to wait to see how Apple will integrate PrimeSense in its product line.
Apple acquired Israel flash storage chip maker Anobit in January 2012, and PrimeSense marks its second acquisition in Israel.
Apart from PrimeSense, Apple has acquired other major companies recently including software navigation companies like Embark, HopStop.com, Locationary and WiFiSLAM. The company bought Chomp to face lift its App store, and AunthenTec was acquired with the purpose of designing the touch ID security, last year. Apple has around $146.8 billion in cash and investments, and there can be some major acquisitions in the future, as well. The iPhone maker has been keen to acquire such start-ups to develop new products and integrate these technologies.