Apple buys Motion Tracking Company PrimeSense in $345M Deal

Apple confirmed on Sunday that it has purchased PrimeSense, the company that makes the motion tracking technology Microsoft first used in the Kinect accessory for the Xbox. The deal is said to have cost Apple somewhere in the neighborhood of US$345 million.

Apple confirms it purchased PrimeSenseApple confirms it purchased PrimeSense

In a statement on the purchase of PrimeSense, Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet told CNET, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Word that the two companies were in talks first popped up in July, then again several days ago. Insider sources said the deal would close around the end of the week, and it looks like their estimates were on target.

The deal has little impact on Microsoft because the company stopped using PrimeSense's motion tracking technology for its own some time ago. For Apple, however, the deal gets it high end motion tracking, chip designs that are well suited for mobile devices, and the engineers that made it all happen.

With PrimeSense now under Apple's control, speculation that the company is working on its own HD television is on the rise again. Where the iPhone ands iPad maker may be headed with its new tech and engineers, however, may be the wearable device market.

Apple could be looking into using motion tracking as part of the interface for wearable devices, much like Samsung has done with the Galaxy S4, but with more grace. Considering how small watch faces are, for example, Apple could use motion tracking to follow our eyes and select interface elements without the need to actually touch the screen.

Apple isn't saying exactly how they plan to use PrimeSense's technology, so for now it'll just be rumor and speculation about what the company might have in store.