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A 3D imaging system-on-a-chip made by PrimeSense, a company acquired by Apple last year, has been spotted inside the prototype of a Google device.

Project Tango is an Android phone that uses highly-sensitive 3D motion-tracking and measurement to create automatic maps of interior locations. After taking apart one of the 200 prototypes, iFixit later identified one of the chips as a PrimeSense-made Capri PS1200 3D imaging SoC.

PrimeSense is the company who created the technology behind the Microsoft Kinect system. We first heard whispers that Apple was considering acquiring the company back in July of last year, a purchase which was reported and later confirmed as having completed in November.

It’s believed Apple’s interest in the technology is as a possible gesture-based user-interface for either a future Apple TV box or the long-rumored complete Apple television, though augmented reality apps are another possible use.

More details of Project Tango over at 9to5Google.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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