PrimeSense, the company that developed the motion tracking technology Microsoft first used for its Kinect Xbox accessory, is reportedly about to get snapped up by Apple in a US$345 million deal. Sources said the deal is expected to close by the end of the week, and the cost could climb as $365 million.
Apple ready to drop $345 million on PrimeSense
Word of the pending deal first came via Calcalist out of Israel, and was backed up by sources talking with AllThingsD. Once source said the deal was "the best that could happen, given the circumstances: A big strategic buyer at a decent price."
Word surfaced in July that the two companies were negotiating a deal that would be worth upwards of $300 million. Since then, the value of the deal has climbed, but still hasn't closed.
With PrimeSense under Apple's wing, the iPhone, iPad and Mac maker would have motion tracking technology that goes beyond what it has already developed, as well a group of engineers that has been developing compact chips that are well suited for mobile device use.
Apple has long been rumored to be working on its own HD television, and the motion tracking tech could be used to design a compelling interface for the TV that doesn't require a traditional remote control. It could also be used in wearable tech gear, like the rumored iWatch smartwatch, to overcome the limitations of the much smaller screens such devices would likely have.
While the deal will give Apple several capable engineers, high end motion tracking tech, and new mobile device chips, it won't have a real impact on Microsoft because the company switched to its own technology for Kinect some time after using PrimeSense.
Apple and PrimeSense aren't talking about the rumored deal, but considering how willing sources have been to talk about the negotiations, there's a good chance we'll know it's completed about the time the ink from the signatures dries on the contracts.