Apple in Talks to Buy Company That Helped Make Microsoft's Kinect

Apple might get 3-D vision in its devices if it acquires PrimeSense.

Nov. 18, 2013— -- Motion tracking on your MacBook? It might be possible if a deal between Apple and the company PrimeSense goes through. According to the tech news web site All Things D, Apple is looking to acquire PrimeSense, a company that manufactures chips and sensors that can see in three dimensions. The new technology could be incorporated into future Apple devices, allowing for the same type of gesture control that was seen in Microsoft's Kinect.

Carl Howe, vice president of consumer research at the Yankee Group, said that Apple does have some 3-D sensor technology right now, but that it could improved upon. "Facetime can recognize what's in the background and what's in the foreground," he told ABC News. "But that is a very primitive form of 3-D vision."

Howe predicts that if Apple starts adopting PrimeSense's technology, it'll go to its bigger devices before it hits iPhones and iPads. "You're most comfortable gesturing with your hands, and those are hard to see on mobile devices," he said. "It could definitely be done, but it's more likely to be seen in Apple TV or on Apple computers."

Though PrimeSense helped shape the original Kinect for the Xbox 360, it does not appear that its technology was used for the new Xbox One, available to customers this Friday. All Things D writes that Microsoft "used homegrown technology for the new Kinect that is part of Xbox One."

Both PrimeSense and Apple declined to comment about the business deal. "We do not comment on what any of our partners, customers or potential customers are doing, and we do not relate to rumors or recycled rumors," said PrimeSense in a statement.

Howe also said not to expect anything right away if the deal goes through. "Despite the fact that it makes great headlines, we don't know what Apple's going to do with it," he said. "Sometimes, they just acquire technology because they think it might be important."