According to Israeli news website Calcalist, electronics maker Apple is “in talks” to buy the company that has been developing Microsoft’s Kinect for their Xbox. According to Calcalist, “negotiations between Primesense and Apple took place in recent weeks, with Apple expressing interest in buying the products of Primesense”.
Microsoft employed Primesense to develop the Kinect system for their Xbox360 gaming console. The Kinect system allows users of the Xbox to control the unit by means of voice and gesture-based commands.
According to news reports, negotiations between the two companies are in early stages, and senior Apple engineering executives visited Israel in July in secret.
“If the deal is implemented, it will probably cost around $280 million – not a particularly high amount for a company that raised $85 million from venture capital funds. But the amount provides a reasonable profit to registered early investors in the company, Gemini Israeli Funds, Genesis Foundation and American Canaan. It is estimated that each invested $15-20 million and is expected to win a share of $60-70 million, a reasonable return on investment,” Calcalist wrote.
Calcalist also noted that Apple has heightened their presence in Israel in the last two years by employing more staff and becoming one of the biggest technology companies in the region, with three Research and Development centres employing between 300 and 400 employees.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor