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Reports: Apple To Buy Israeli 3D Sensing Company PrimeSense

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the stereo-vision dept.

Input Devices 81

Several sources, including this report at Forbes, and this one at All Things Digital, say that Apple has bought (or is in the process of buying) Tel-Aviv based PrimeSense, the company behind the 3-D sensing technology in Microsoft's Kinect, for $345 million. The Forbes piece also gives a compact but interesting summary of the possibilities of ubiquitous 3-D hardware, and the sudden, recent drop in price of the components necessary for that to happen. Devices like the Lynx 3-D scanner that I saw at last year's SXSW (targeting the cheap and portable end of the 3-D scanning market) may have a lot of competition in the near future.

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Patents (2, Interesting)

Inev (3059243) | about 8 months ago | (#45452651)

Seems like a good way to get some patents to use against Microsoft.

Re:Patents (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#45452681)

Seems like a good way to get some patents to use against Microsoft.

And a good way to inject cash into a friendly nation's technology centre.

Re:Patents (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45452757)

"Israel you are my greatest ally" - Obama

Re:Patents (3, Informative)

somersault (912633) | about 8 months ago | (#45453167)

That sounded a bit unlikely to me, so I looked up the actual quote:

The United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend

The way he's worded it, he could be saying that they're friends and allies, just that he considers the US stronger and more great than everyone else.

Re:Patents (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 8 months ago | (#45453205)

It seems the USA is alone in the world on this one. I'm surprised someone like the UN isn't stepping in and stopping American companies from buying out Israeli companies like this. A right diplomatic nightmare brewing I feel.

Re:Patents (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 8 months ago | (#45454539)

Just to clarify, not the UN itself but a member state protesting.

Re:Patents (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45452909)

Friendly nation, that's a good one.

Re:Patents (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453017)

Seems like a good way to get some patents to use against Microsoft.

And a good way to inject cash into a friendly nation's technology centre.

As if Israel isn't getting enough injection [wikipedia.org] .

But from your posts it is rather obvious that you are frightened out of your skull by anything even remotely related to Islam -- a less charitable interpretation would be to call you a racist -- and since the Palestinians happen to be predominantly Muslim you appear to be following a "my enemy's enemy" line here. Well, you know, good luck with that.

Re:Patents (1, Offtopic)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 8 months ago | (#45454249)

If a Palestinian is anyone who lived in Palestine before it became Israel, then there are thousands of Palestinian Jews living in Israel today. Even more so if you count descendants (as the Arabs in the West Bank do).

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45454893)

Damn shame there's no "P" sound in arabic... makes it kind of tough for arabs to claim sole title to "PPPPalestine". Yes- I'd like a Bebsi with my Bizza...

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45454501)

BOYCOTT!! DIVEST!!! Get rid of anything and everything both Apple and MS currently in your possession! What are you waiting for man-- do it-- NOW!

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45454711)

BOYCOTT!! DIVEST!!! Get rid of anything and everything both Apple and MS currently in your possession! What are you waiting for man-- do it-- NOW!

You can have my iPhone when you pry t from my cold gay hand.

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45456639)

I can't wait for those idiots pushing the boycott movement to realize that they will have to give up their iPhones, iPods, or whatever other Apple items they've accumulated. Although after their tiny brains explode (listen for a muffled 'pop') they will be eligible to join the Tea Party.

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45456931)

They've already given up anything with Intel or AMD processors. I'm guessing there'd be few architectures/platforms that don't have some connection to Israeli companies/engineers.

Wow! (1)

Sun (104778) | about 8 months ago | (#45456885)

Just Wow!

How paranoid can one get?

Is there any reason at all to assume this is anything more than a company, which happens to be American, interested in buying the assets of another company, which happens to be Israeli? If so, please do elaborate.

Shachar

Re:Patents (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 8 months ago | (#45458333)

Nice. Let's play six degrees of politicization of a thread!

Re:Patents (4, Informative)

grouchomarxist (127479) | about 8 months ago | (#45452685)

Apple and Microsoft are at a patent truce. They co-own the patent holding company RockStar.

Re:Patents (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 8 months ago | (#45452713)

Also MS licensed Kinect technology from Prime Sense. These licenses don't go away simply because the company changes owners. SCO found out the hard way in the Novell case. They got the licensing business from Novell, not the copyrights. Just because they bought the business from Santa Cruz does not mean they can change the past agreements they made with Novell.

Re:Patents (3, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | about 8 months ago | (#45452773)

The truce only holds for the patents that they have vested in RockStar. Any patent not fully vested is fair game. I would imagine the PrimeSense patents will be kept well away from RockStar. Companies often sue each other while having an otherwise perfectly workable relationship. See Samsung v Apple.

Re:Patents (2)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 8 months ago | (#45452825)

Yes, this is true, but MS and Apple have no need, and probably no desire to sue each other.

MS needs Apple to continue to exist as a computer maker, or their anti-trust problems grow. MS invested $150 million 15 years ago in Apple to keep them alive, for this very reason.

Apple needs MS to promote and grow the Windows Phone. Frankly, Apple would MUCH rather have Windows Phone as the iPhone's competition rather than Android. And Apple would have the same problem with iPhone as MS does without competition.

So they need each other. And Apple is, quite frankly, not going to get into the console gaming business any time soon... unless they buy Sony...

Re:Patents (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453135)

>MS invested $150 million 15 years ago in Apple

True

>to keep them alive, for this very reason.

Completely wrong.
http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q1.07/592FE887-5CA1-4F30-BD62-407362B533B9.html

It's an urban myth that refuses to die. MS NEVER saved Apple. Steve Jobs saved Apple, not Bill Gates.

Re:Patents (2)

rvw (755107) | about 8 months ago | (#45453841)

Steve Jobs saved Apple, not Bill Gates.

With the helping hand of Steve Ballmer...

Re:Patents (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 8 months ago | (#45458849)

You invalidate your point when you cite RoughlyDrafted as a source. That's about as "neutral" as WinSuperSite.

Re:Patents (3, Informative)

Karlt1 (231423) | about 8 months ago | (#45455205)

The truce only holds for the patents that they have vested in RockStar. Any patent not fully vested is fair game.

The MS/Apple patent truce dates back to a 5 year patent cross licensing deal back in 1997. Apple and MS haven't gone after each other at all since then.

Re:Patents (3, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 8 months ago | (#45455815)

Apple and MS have been at a patent truce for more than a decade, since the late 1990's. And continue to offer each other a very broad cross patent license agreement.

Remember the jog dial control on the iPod. Turns out MS held the patent on it. And it was covered under their cross patent licenses agreement.

MS offered the truce because they desperately needed Apple to avoid DOJ break up. But over the past decade it's proven to be useful for both sides. Largely the two companies don't directly compete with each other. Apple is a consumer electronics company. Microsoft is an enterprise software provider. There isn't a lot of overlap. At least not as much as people on /. would like to believe.

And strangely enough, the both need each other at this point to stem Google.

Re: Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45457295)

Wrong. Phil Schiller came up with the iPod click dial. It was not a MS invention.

Re:Patents (2)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 8 months ago | (#45452727)

Seems like a good way to get some patents to use against Microsoft.

Microsoft? Try, a good way to keep them out of the hands of Google/Samsung et al.

Re:Patents (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 8 months ago | (#45452845)

One would have to wonder whether Google already holds everything they need for this tech given they are entrenched into the self driving car industry. You'd figure 3D scanning is very much obligatory for that.

Re:Patents (2)

StripedCow (776465) | about 8 months ago | (#45453049)

They use a LIDAR system for that. Pretty ancient technology. Also used for law enforcement (speed guns).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_driverless_car [wikipedia.org]

According to the article, this system costs $70.000 euros.
That's a far cry from the $80 euros of a typical kinect system.

I guess that's the price you pay for brute forcing your way into the market.

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45454393)

What are these dollar-euros you speak of?

€ is your friend.

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45455539)

Hur hur hur

Re:Patents (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 8 months ago | (#45453105)

The performance of the Google driverless car has not been independently verified through real driving scenarios by a single person.

Don't imagine it's nearly as sophisticated as you'd hope.

Re:Patents (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 8 months ago | (#45453635)

Unfortunately, that's not how patents work. You can be operating a business and someone with patents can sue the crap out of you.

Re:Patents (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#45452729)

Nokia, MS and Apple entered a court case unholy-union a few years back already(after Apple got spanked in the courts by Nokia) - they even moved a large portion of their offensive patents to a holding company....

google is more likely to get into the receiving end(google glass gestures etc shit).

Re:Patents (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 8 months ago | (#45452771)

Don't you just love how patents are primarily used to ensure technology will never be used and combined in new ways?

Re:Patents (1, Interesting)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 8 months ago | (#45453113)

It is common to regard the progress of technology over the past decade as magnificent.

But all the ingredients are much older than this. For the last decade of progress, all we really have are:
1) Apple, not for inventing usability, but for merely realising that it is important;
2) Chinese sweatshop labour for their undying devotion to increased efficiency.

All the current ideas had already been envisioned by the '70s, prototyped by the '80s, and implemented by the '90s. Today we just have a bunch of consolidated wankers shoving it down our throats.

Re:Patents (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 8 months ago | (#45453145)

Perhaps if you define all of technology as "iPhone".

Re:Patents (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 8 months ago | (#45457189)

Those 70s wankers? The microprocessor 'aint nothing more than a shrinked down bunch of people with calculators.

Calculators? They 'aint nothing more than a jumped up abacus.

Re:Patents (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 8 months ago | (#45457531)

Yes, but those are bigger steps than 10um to 22nm, which has been main evolutionary delivery between 1971 and last year..

Re:Patents (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 8 months ago | (#45457717)

Yeah. I wish some other stuff had happened in the past 30 years. Anyway, can't talk. Going to go play some Pong.

Re:Patents (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 8 months ago | (#45457825)

Except that the context there was miniaturisation, and the more general statement was about lack of progress in the last 10 years.

Re:Patents (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 8 months ago | (#45458545)

I get the feeling you're going to head down that familiar root pointing out that x is really just a refined version of y - where y is some technology that originated 30 years ago. Barring that, I can only assume you've been living with the Amish. Either way, it'll be just as productive if I pretend to be playing Pong.

Shush. Pong.

Re:Patents (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 8 months ago | (#45458929)

Look at it forwards: what was practically envisaged in each decade? That's a fairly good way of deciding whether something is evolutionary or revolutionary.

I once wrote Psion Pong for the first half of a plane trip to Germany, then the second half passing it around between my schoolmates. The turboprop for leg #2 got hit by lightning, and one of the "hard kids" (I was obv. a geek) vomited. I lol'd. But then I let him play with my Psion for the rest of the journey, and he was grateful.

Re:Patents (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 8 months ago | (#45453257)

Nokia, MS and Apple entered a court case unholy-union a few years back already(after Apple got spanked in the courts by Nokia) - they even moved a large portion of their offensive patents to a holding company....

When exactly did Apple get "spanked" by Nokia in the courts? Aren't we trying to re-write history here? As far as I remember, Nokia asked for insane patent fees, Apple offered to pay much more sane amounts, they finally settled in court, and Nokia published patent revenue that was quite in line with what you would have reasonably expected Apple would pay.

Re:Patents (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#45455897)

When exactly did Apple get "spanked" by Nokia in the courts? Aren't we trying to re-write history here? As far as I remember, Nokia asked for insane patent fees, Apple offered to pay much more sane amounts, they finally settled in court, and Nokia published patent revenue that was quite in line with what you would have reasonably expected Apple would pay.

hundreds of millions of dollars and apple wanted originally not to pay anything or cross license but they had nothing to cross license. jobs had the jobs opinion that they did have something to license and fight with..("oh have we patented it")..

if you don't call 800mil + 8 per iphone vs. nothing as getting spanked then that's your problem. they settled because they would have lost and at that point in time they got other pressing matters from another manufacturer to attend to into which a truce fitted quite nicely.

yes, just having to pay "along the normal lines"(going to between 1-2 billion now) was getting spanked. boohoo for not being special.

Re:Patents (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 8 months ago | (#45456081)

hundreds of millions of dollars and apple wanted originally not to pay anything or cross license but they had nothing to cross license. jobs had the jobs opinion that they did have something to license and fight with..("oh have we patented it")..

You are completely wrong. Nokia asked for tons of money and license for Apple patents. (See: Apple _had_ patents that Nokia wanted to license, so when you say "they had nothing to cross license", that's nonsense). Apple never refused to pay for licenses, they refused to pay as much as Nokia wanted, and the refused to cross license. As is usual in these cases, Nokia refused to accept a lower payment (because taking money can be seen as accepting the payment rate and can cost you dearly in court).

The agreement then meant payments of several hundred millions, which was exactly what a fair payment should have been, considering that Apple had to pay back license fees for some years and the iPhone was a runaway success, so a small fee times a huge number of iPhones suddenly became a huge number.

Re:Patents (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45452827)

Yes, it's not like this specific company will have signed extensive patent licencing agreements with Microsoft or anything.

nawfelhasnaoui (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45452701)

http://girls005.blogspot.com/

Apple bought Israel? (1, Funny)

arcite (661011) | about 8 months ago | (#45452719)

Now we shall have Peace in our time.

Re:Apple bought Israel? (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about 8 months ago | (#45452781)

Yeah but Microsoft will just buy Hezbollah *cough* sorry I mean Lebanon.

They'll probably throw Iran in for cheap as well.

Re:Apple bought Israel? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453349)

iSrael. It was either get bought out or get sued for trademark infringement.

Crystal Ball... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45452745)

It says Apple are about to 'invent' 3D sensing. How innovative of them!

Re:Crystal Ball... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453149)

Look at you. What an innovative troll posting.
No one ever before you came up with those clever, sophisticated lines.
Can I get an autograph of you, you monumental, cerebral, creative, intellectual behemoth? I bow down in awe.

Re:Crystal Ball... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453277)

Look at you. Biting and giving the troll exactly what he wants.

Re:Crystal Ball... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45458417)

But who bites the biters?

Re:Crystal Ball... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453291)

Can I get an autograph from you...

Thats crazy for 2 reasons... (4, Interesting)

bazmail (764941) | about 8 months ago | (#45452761)

1. Only 345 million? At least they actually produce something, Facebook offered to buy snapchat for 3 billion, and thats just another "me too" messenger service flavor of the month.
2. Why the hell doesn't microsoft already own this? Seems like they made a monumental fuckup not buying this years ago, and now will be beholden to Apple.

Re:Thats crazy for 2 reasons... (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45452847)

The obvious answer is that Primesense knew that they were worth more money as a free agent than MS could offer them to work exclusively (they've been licencing the same reference design out to other companies since Kinect came out). I guess Apple wrote a bigger check.

For what it's worth, I've read that Kinect 2 is enough of an in-house MS Research project that Primesense were not involved.

Re:Thats crazy for 2 reasons... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 8 months ago | (#45455505)

For what it's worth, I've read that Kinect 2 is enough of an in-house MS Research project that Primesense were not involved.

Not quite inhouse, but not PrimeSense either. Microsoft acquired a company that specialized in low-cost time-of-flight cameras and that's what's in the Kinect 2 (PrimeSense is based on structured light fields).

Or, in other words, Kinect 2 again messes with the 3D imaging companies by offering a low-cost time-of-flight 3D imager, something that would've cost easily hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Of course, you can't use the Xbone one in a PC yet - but Microsoft promises it will be out for Windows in 2014. Given the unsubsidized Kinect was $250, even if Kinect 2 was $300, that's still a mighty cheap 3D imager.

(And given how popular the old Kinect was...).

Re:Thats crazy for 2 reasons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45456013)

Microsoft acquired a company that specialized in low-cost time-of-flight cameras

Right, that company was Canesta [wikipedia.org]

Time of flight cameras are great because the light source is a relatively simple strobing IR-LED, and the image resolution comes directly from existing camera sensors. The field of view is relatively easy to increase as well. I imagine the hard part is brightness of the source across the wider field of view, but that still is probably easier than spreading out the structured light.

Re:Thats crazy for 2 reasons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453083)

snapchat said via 3rd party that they were offered 3 billion. believe it if you want!

but yeah this company probably has some revenue at least.. so they're probably using the more usual company valuation methods than picking a number out of a hat.

Re:Thats crazy for 2 reasons... (1)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | about 8 months ago | (#45456229)

Agreed on "Only 345 million?"

They seem to be worth *a lot* more.

Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45452853)

Every fucking idito can develop his own "3d sensing" software using forrests of decision trees or whatever else you think is suitable. The technology has not much use besides clumsy gesture recognition with high error rate.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45452929)

They're a hardware company.

Thinking about applications... (2)

Camembert (2891457) | about 8 months ago | (#45452933)

Technically it is nice. It works great for games. But Apple is not really a game company so I am thinking how they would use it.
This could be, next to really innovative uses that are outside my limited imagination:
- gesture control for TV (Apple TV or upcoming TV)
- gesture controle of home automation (considering that they also bought a home automation firm), perhaps the sensor could be in the upcoming iwatch
- gesture control, next to the current input methods for osx and IOS - but I am not yet sure about the extra value.
- turn an iphone into a 3D scanner by for example tracing the outline of an object with one corner of the device.

So, I can imagine some use cases outside gaming, but somehow what I can come up with seem rahter nice to haves than killer apps. Any other ideas?

Re:Thinking about applications... (4, Interesting)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 8 months ago | (#45453171)

Technically it is nice. It works great for games. But Apple is not really a game company so I am thinking how they would use it.

This could be, next to really innovative uses that are outside my limited imagination:

- gesture control for TV (Apple TV or upcoming TV)

- gesture controle of home automation (considering that they also bought a home automation firm), perhaps the sensor could be in the upcoming iwatch

- gesture control, next to the current input methods for osx and IOS - but I am not yet sure about the extra value.

- turn an iphone into a 3D scanner by for example tracing the outline of an object with one corner of the device.

So, I can imagine some use cases outside gaming, but somehow what I can come up with seem rahter nice to haves than killer apps. Any other ideas?

I don't know how small you can make these scanners, but assuming the can be made to fit into a mobile device I can think of one more feature: Face recognition. That might spare Apple embarrassing moments like Google had with it's face recognition login feature [youtube.com] . People laugh about CCC hacking Apples fingerprint button [youtube.com] , but at least that hack takes more than 20 seconds.

What? No, holographic conferencing (1)

Boaz17 (1318183) | about 8 months ago | (#45453581)

Any 12 years old girl will tell you that the next gen mobile phone is holographic communication like we were promised in the first Star-Wars movie 36 years ago. Now we know Apple has been working on holographic projection for years, this here is for the holographic capture ...

Dah

Marti (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453047)

Marty Here! [healthmartpharma.eu]

Not surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453247)

Apple had tried buying PrimeSense before Kinect, but they rubbed the PS folks the wrong way (IIRC the characterization was that Apple acted like PS should be grateful at Apple wanting them and take whatever they offer). As for MS, they've moved on to their own internal tech for Kinect 2, so presumably, MS figured $350 million was too much for them.

SnapChat fo 4 bil and Prime sense for 345 mil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453365)

Tells lot about priorities and mysterious ways evaluation works.

Re:SnapChat fo 4 bil and Prime sense for 345 mil (3, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 8 months ago | (#45453795)

Or it might just say something about Facebook and Snapchat's executives have no idea what anything is actually worth.

uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453569)

apple is about to invent the kinect!!!

my life already! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45453757)

From oy vey to iVey.

Snapchat vs PrimeSense (2)

TFlan91 (2615727) | about 8 months ago | (#45453891)

Firstly: Yes, I agree that whatever price Facebook offered, if it offered anything, to SnapChat is grossly exaggerated and out of proportion.

However, everyone seems to forget that SnapChat is in touch with almost 99% of all youth and a very large percentage of all smartphone users.

A "customer base" MUCH larger than anything PrimeSense will EVER dream of touching.

Re:Snapchat vs PrimeSense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45454707)

that's a user base, not a customer base.

Re:Snapchat vs PrimeSense (2)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 8 months ago | (#45458445)

However, everyone seems to forget that SnapChat is in touch with almost 99% of all youth and a very large percentage of all smartphone users.

A "customer base" MUCH larger than anything PrimeSense will EVER dream of touching.

Heinz has a user base much larger than Intel's. A comparison between Heinz and Intel seems just as disjointed and useless as comparing SnapChat's user base (online service for consumers) with PrimeSense (licensing tech and selling niche hardware to geeks).

Junk Company (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45455433)

1) the Kinect 2 in the Xbox One has NOTHING to do with the dreadful technology from PrimeSense

2) EVERYTHING clever the original Kinect did was a result of Microsoft's body detection algorithms, and NOTHING to do with PrimeSense

3) PrimeSense depth detection works in the most trivial (and unreliable) way. And optical sheet in front of a very bright light source projects thousands of carefully pre-calculated 'rays', creating an image that looks like a lot of "random dots". However, the 'random' dots have horizontal and vertical 'location' information encoded into their positions (via clusters of dots), and an ordinary camera records an image of these dots in a single photograph. A simple computer program identifies each dot and looks for vertical and horizontal displacement in the 2D image, which will allow a depth calculation to be made via simple parallax calculations.

This method is crude, and near impossible to make more accurate (why Microsoft fully dumped this method for Kinect 2). The so-called PrimeSense 'chip' is the real con, doing nothing more than code you could trivially run on any modern CPU.

Leap Motion does the same thing, with VASTLY better relative accuracy, using TWO cameras, and the usual stereo separation algorithms (and some clever statistical optical flow stuff). Both Leap Motion and PrimeSense have the advantage of being insanely cheap to manufacture.

Apple is almost certainly looking for simple gesture input systems, probably for its Apple TV products. Sadly, gesture input will remain a useless tick-box gimmick for companies competing amongst one another for business from idiots. It has no real world use (beyond exercise/dance games and 'fun' for very young children), because of its inherent 'fail to recognise input' rate, and an inability to input 'punctuation'.

Re:Junk Company (1)

iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) | about 8 months ago | (#45464595)

Complete BS, this. Microsoft made skeleton tracking that is incredibly advanced and yet it didn't quite work. PrimeSense made some of their own skeleton tracking, unremarkable in performance in reliability, and decent object segregation. The brilliance of the PrimeSense tech is exactly what's on the chip, it gives you a quite accurate depth map with only 30ms lag compared to a regular webcam and quite solid as well as long the cam is not looking at open sky. And that depth map is all you need for a number of applications.

I work extensively with Kinect and spent a few weeks testing Leap Motion. Leap Motion is actually so bad and unreliable in object detection that it makes the PS structured light look all that more ingenious.

What will happen to OpenNI? (2)

nickmalthus (972450) | about 8 months ago | (#45455621)

It was great to see PrimeSense offer an open API [openni.org] to interact with 3D sensing hardware when the kinect first hit the market. Now with their acquisition will their support of this standard be abandoned?

This KS campain is the reason for buyout. (2)

citizenr (871508) | about 8 months ago | (#45456721)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/occipital/structure-sensor-capture-the-world-in-3d [kickstarter.com]

3D sensor in a phone is a no-brainer once you see the possibilities.

This is going to be the next big thing in iPhone 6. 300mil is cheap for the next good reason for everyone to upgrade their iCrap.

Anyone using their tech had better start looking (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 8 months ago | (#45458051)

for alternatives. When Apple bought AuthenTec (who made the fingerprint scanners on most laptops), they put out one final version of the software then unceremoniously dropped support for the hardware. Now the AuthenTec website is just gone. I managed to grab the latest (last) version of the software [archive.org] (for the scanner on my laptop) before the website vanished, but only because I happened to do a wipe and reinstall of the OS earlier in the year.

If Apple wants to make some tech exclusive to their devices, they have no problem with screwing over previous customers.
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