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Sensors could be put in a Smart TV offering

The magic inside Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFTKinect is a special image processor that takes video streams from multiple cameras and blends it together into a 3D spatial map -- mostly in hardware.  Microsoft actually didn't coming up with that chip itself -- it was devised by a relatively low-profile Israeli company called PrimeSense.

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) is reportedly being targeting the Israeli company for a potential acquisition, according to a report by Israeli newspaper Calcalist.

PrimeSense has to date raised $85M USD in venture capital according to Calcalist, which adds that the prospective sale price would be around $280M USD.  PrimeSense's investors include Canaan PartnersSilver Lake SumeruGemini Israel Funds, and Genesis Partners.

Kinect Sensor
Apple is interested in buying PrimeSense, the company behind the technology in the Xbox Kinect. [Image Source:]

Apple already employs around 300 to 400 engineers in Israel at five small research and development facilities.  Apple also owns Anobit, an Israeli maker of chip controllers for flash storage modules.

Purchasing PrimeSense would be another indication that Apple is moving forward towards offering a Smart TV, given that PrimeSense's products have thus far mostly been living room fodder (like the Kinect).  Apple currently sells a set-top box, but does not sell a television set with a system-on-a-chip onboard.

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), Apple's smartphone arch-rival, released a new series of TVs back in January which had swappable microcontrollers on the back face, allowing you to keep your Smart TV "smart".  However, despite the intrigue, the Smart TV segment continues to be low volume -- something Apple is likely hoping to change

Sources: Calcalist, Reuters

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OK, Ill be the first to say it...
By retrospooty on 7/16/2013 1:33:00 PM , Rating: 5
To anyone working on motion detection hardware or software... Lawyer up, your about to get sued ;)

RE: OK, Ill be the first to say it...
By kleinma on 7/16/2013 1:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
was too much prior art this time around for that (even though I felt there was enough prior art for samsung to win its case and they didn't).

By FITCamaro on 7/16/2013 2:29:25 PM , Rating: 5
Prior art means nothing to judges who don't know what that means or understand anything about software.

By Solandri on 7/16/2013 8:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
To anyone working on motion detection hardware or software

Not just them, but anybody who bought devices which use PrimeSense technology. Be prepared to lose support.

Apple bought AuthenTec last year. AuthenTec made the fingerprint scanners found on most laptops. Business continued as usual for a few months under Apple's helm. Then suddenly out of the blue, AuthenTec announced that there was a new software update, it would be free for everyone, and that it's the final release. No more. They're not going to sell fingerprint scanners anymore, and won't be supporting the ones they did sell.

Every laptop vendor using a fingerprint scanner is now stuck with a device that will no longer be updated - no security updates, no compatibility updates for new software. Because apparently Apple wants the feature to be exclusive to their products. They bought the company so I don't have a problem with them making sure the feature only shows up on new Apple products. But cutting off support for products which have already been sold is just low.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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