Apple confirms rumored acquisition of Kinect maker PrimeSense

Apple has confirmed that it has indeed acquired the Israeli 3D sensor maker PrimeSense, reports AllThingsD:

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed the PrimeSense deal with the boilerplate comment the company typically provides when news of one of its acquisitions leaks: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

PrimeSense was the company that developed the first Kinect accessory for the Xbox 360 gaming platform, before Microsoft decided to move to house-developed sensing tech for the Xbox One. Since the original Microsoft deal, PrimeSense has drastically reduced the physical size of its 3D motion sensors, which are now able to fit into smaller, mobile products. Its new Capri chip is aimed at the mobile universe, as explained to Engadget's Nicole Lee in a great profile of founder Aviad Maizels.

Of course, speculation is in full force now that Apple has confirmed the acquisition, but be wary. Though 3D motion sensing is a hot area right now, it's possible PrimeSense technology could never make it into an Apple product as acquisitions can be as much about talent and patents as the tech itself. If Apple were to include PrimeSense tech in the near future, however, the rumored Apple television set or a next-generation Apple TV with a heavy games focus would be an ideal fit.

One relatively recent Apple hardware company acquisition bore rapid fruit: Authentec, which Apple snapped up in July 2012, saw its fingerprint sensing tech make it to iPhone customers as this year's Touch ID home button in the iPhone 5S.

Apple's footprint in the burgeoning Israeli tech scene was substantial before this buyout; the company already owns flash memory R&D firm Anobit and operates three research centers in the country.