Israeli business newspaper Calcalistreports [Google translation, via 9to5Mac] that Apple is in early-stage negotiations to acquire 3D body sensing firm PrimeSense, with any deal likely to command a price in the range of $280 million. PrimeSense is the firm that developed the original technology behind Microsoft's Kinect motion sensing and control system.
The report indicates that a delegation of senior Apple executives visited PrimeSense earlier this month, after Calcalist had reported [Google translation] that the company was looking to negotiate its sale with Apple, Sony, and Samsung as prospective suitors. Apple is presumably interested in the technology as it makes a more significant push into the living room, with the company rumored to be trying to launch its own television hardware and content delivery services.
Interestingly, Apple's interest in PrimeSense appears to extend back many years, with Cult of Mac's Leander Kahney having related in November 2010 how he sat next to PrimeSense CEO Inon Beracha on a June 2008 flight, where Beracha talked about how his company had viewed Apple as the most natural fit when PrimeSense was shopping its technology around Silicon Valley.
In fact, he’d already had several meetings at Apple. It was the first place he and his engineers thought of. “It was the most natural place for the technology,” he said. [...]
Yet the initial meetings hadn’t gone so well. Obsessed with secrecy, Apple had already asked Beracha to sign a stack of crippling legal agreements and NDAs.
He shook his head. Why didn’t he want to do a deal with Apple? No need. The technology was hot. He could sell it to anyone.