Apple confirms purchase of company behind Microsoft's Kinect

Apple has confirmed its purchase of motion-sensor company PrimeSense, a week after rumours began circulating about a potential acquisition.

The buyout was rumoured to have been for around $345 million (£214.3 million) last week, although neither company had published the exact figure involved in the deal, and there was some speculation that the actual amount would be higher.

The Tel Aviv-based PrimeSense is the company behind Microsoft's Kinect add-on, and represents another opportunistic move from Apple.

The company's technology is also used in 3D scanners, iRobot's Ava 500, and the Asus Xtion, altogether used in more than 20 million devices worldwide, including smartphones and tablets. Although PrimseSense is most famous for powering the Xbox's Kinect add-on, Microsoft dropped its partnership with the Israeli company prior to the release of the Xbox One.

The software giant apparently believed that it had the capability to go it alone on its next generation of motion sensing technology.

Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet on Sunday confirmed that the acquisition was "a done deal," and ended a week of speculation.

However, the juiciest aspect of the rumours has yet to be answered – that is, what exactly Apple plans to do with its newest acquisition. Will we see motion sensing technology in the iPhone 6, or a whole new range of smart products coming out from the Cupertino-based company?

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," Huguet said in Apple's routine statement.

This much is true. Last year, Apple also announced the buyout of another Israeli company, Anobit, which provides flash storage, for $400 million (£246.9 million).

Apple is also quick to take advantage of opportunistic plays. In another such sly move, Apple last month swept in to take its pick of staff let go by BlackBerry after a series of redundancies by the Canadian smartphone-maker.

Image: Flickr (John Biehler)