Kinect ▪ January 23, 2014

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We’ve learned that Apple is making progress on its development of a successor to the current Apple TV and that the device is well into testing. We are led to believe that the new device, which is said to be a set-top box rather than a full-fledged TV set, will likely be introduced in the first half of 2014. We understand that the product will include a revamped operating system that will be based on iOS. Of course, release timeframes with these type of products can quickly change due to the content partners that are involved in such products…

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Kinect ▪ November 17, 2013

According to Israeli publication Calcalist.co.il, Apple has purchased PrimeSense, the company behind the original Microsoft Kinect’s technology somewhere near a valuation in the $345M range. According to the report, a delegation of PrimeSense senior executives visited Apple’s engineering offices in recent days. The purchase would bolster Apple’s living room TV interface offerings and allow Apple to add controls with body movements and hand gestures to its products.

Calcalist reported in July that Apple was mulling a purchase for somewhere in the neighborhood of $280M.  PrimeSense had issued a denial that it was in talks to be bought by Apple. As we know with past history surrounding these type of matters, company denials don’t often mean much in the grand scheme of things.

Apple purchased Israeli Flash chip optimization company Anobit in late 2011 for $400M+, also originally reported by Calcalist. The company now functions as one of Apple’s R&D centers in-country… expand full story

Kinect ▪ September 30, 2013

Extreme Reality, a company that has been developing motion capture technology that Sega and others have used in PC & mobile games, today announced it is opening up its SDK to all developers. The software works with any 2D camera and allows devs to easily capture and analyze motion for games and apps. Think Microsoft’s Kinect, but with Extreme Reality motion is captured with an iOS device’s built-in FaceTime camera rather than bulky, expensive external hardware: expand full story

Kinect ▪ July 16, 2013

A series of reports from Israeli publication Calcalist.co.il claims PrimeSense, the company behind the original Microsoft Kinect’s technology, is in acquisition talks with Apple, somewhere near a valuation in the $280-300M range.  According to the report, a delegation of PrimeSense senior executives visited Apple’s engineering offices in recent days. The purchase would bolster Apple’s living room TV interface offerings and allow Apple to add controls with body movements and hand gestures to its products.

Apple purchased Israeli Flash chip optimization company Anobit in late 2011 for $400M+, also originally reported by Calcalist. The company now functions as one of Apple’s R&D centers in country.

We’ve heard previously that Apple is working on such 3D gesture interface and may have already been licensing IP from the Israeli firm and/or its competitors. At $280M, Apple may believe it’s better to own this IP and technology rather than let others have access to it in the future.

Apple has its own patents on similar 3D technology and has been working on its own gesture-controlled OS (below).

Microsoft used the sensor technology that PrimeSense developed for its original Kinect, previously known as Project Natal, but has since replaced the technology with its own in-house technology for 3D body mapping and movement.

PrimeSense went on to work with Asus on its WAVI Xtion living room home media controller (video) and has since shrunk chips down to be used in tablets and phones (another area of  Apple interest)

PrimeSense was founded in 2005 and is a founding member of OpenNI, an industry-led non-profit organization formed to certify and promote the compatibility and interoperability of Natural Interaction (NI) devices, applications and middleware.

Update: PrimeSense has issued a denial that it is currently in talks to be bought by Apple. As we know with past history surrounding these type of matters, the company’s claims might not mean much.

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Kinect ▪ October 17, 2011

Kinect ▪ August 11, 2011

There certainly isn’t a shortage of Apple patents being published today (probably more fuel for a legal battle a year from now). We just told you about a new Map related (Placebase acquisition) patent, and now Patently Apple reports Apple has been granted a patent that will allow them to integrate tiny projectors into future mobile devices.

This latest patent describes, in rather clear detail, exactly how Apple could integrate projectors into iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. It even suggests Apple cameras will be able to detect gestures and “shadows and/or silhouettes” (Kinect-style iOS games anyone?).

The patent also describes what Apple calls a “shared projected workspace”. This appears to essentially be the ability for users to share content with one another over two projected displays. For example, if I were to project an image from one iOS device, and you from another, we could then share content (via gestures?) between both displays. The patent explains:
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