Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) confirmed yesterday that it is the new owner of PrimeSense, the Tel Aviv-based developer of 3D-based gesture recognition technology.
In a comment cited by multiple media outlets, Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
The Wall Street Journal said "a person familiar with the acquisition" placed the deal's value at $350 million, while AllThingsD reported that Apple paid around $360 million for the startup. Speculation regarding a potential deal between Apple and PrimeSense began back in July, at which time a $280 million to $300 million price tag was kicked around.
PrimeSense's technology was used in Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) original Xbox 360 game console. The newly launched Xbox One includes gesture recognition software developed in house at Microsoft, using technology it gained in its acquisition of PrimeSense rival Canesta.
PrimeSense has earlier raised funding exceeding $80 million from firms such as Silver Lake Sumeru, Canaan Partners, Gemini Israel and Genesis Partners, the Wall Street Journal said.
Though Apple has its hands on PrimeSense, it is unclear exactly what the Cupertino, Calif., company intends to do with the startup's technology. Speculation has ranged from the addition to 3D-recognition capabilities in iPhones and iPads to use of the technology in the long-rumored Apple TV project or even an Apple smartwatch.
Bloomberg noted Apple has been on an acquisition spree lately. So far this year, the company has bought Passif Semiconductor, navigation-software company Embark, online transit-navigation service HopStop.com, business-locations maps company Locationary and indoor-positioning technology company WifiSLAM.
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