After 18 months of talks, and despite official denials by PrimeSense Ltd., on Monday, Apple Inc. confirmed that it will acquire the Israeli gesture recognition company for $350 million, reported Globes.
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," said Apple.
PrimeSense, founded in 2005 by president Aviad Maizels, CTO Alexander Shpunt, Dima Rais, Ophir Sharon, and Tamir Berliner, is run by CEO Inon Beracha. The start-up's five founders are expected to rake in $50-85 million from the acquisition, the financial website reported.
PrimeSense has worked closely with Microsoft Corporation, which embedded PrimeSense's hardware and software in the Kinect system, used in Xbox 360 game consoles. PrimeSense reportedly earned almost $200 million from Xbox 360 sales.
PrimeSense is Apple's second acquisition in Israel; in December 2011, it acquired Anobit for $400 million.
Apple will embed PrimeSense's technology in the smart TV, which is scheduled for launch in 2015.
PrimeSense's contribution to Apple will apparently not be limited to smart TVs, according to Globes. PrimeSense allows users to purchase, via tablets, clothing and footwear by scanning their bodies. There is a good chance that Apple will install this technology in iPads.
Apple to Acquire Israeli PrimeSense for $350M
The firm's gesture recognition software is used in the Kinect system in Xbox 360 game consoles.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has often alluded to the Israeli high technology sector as one of the nation's points of strength and pride.
Netanyahu recently said, at the Conference on Joint Strategic Dialogue between the Government of Israel and World Jewish Communities, that "we didn't have the tremendous genius – I use that word genius – of our people come to full fruition until we opened up our economy and now Israel is widely recognized as a global power in technology. We contribute to medicine; we contribute to communication; we contribute to anything from genetic research to food, unusual foods, crop yields, irrigation. We have cows that produce – well, which country has cows that produce the most milk per cow? Well, you think it's France or Holland? No, it's Israel. Number one country in recycling by far of water? Israel. And so on and so on and so on. It's endless."