Apple announced its official purchase of technology developer PrimeSense, the inventor of the Xbox One Kinect camera, finally putting rumors of a deal to rest over the weekend.
The iPhone developer paid $360 million for the Israel-based company credited with developing the motion-sensitive, facial-recognition camera technology in Microsoft’s newest gaming platform, which launched last Friday.
The same rumors of the deal — months in the making — speculate the technology could be used for an Apple TV device the California developer has been working on in recent years.
The Kinect camera became as much a liability as a selling point for Microsoft over the summer after it was revealed that to utilize the full functionality of the device, which uses voice, motion and facial-recognition software to customize the user’s control, the camera watches you at all times.
That includes when users play games and watch television or video streaming services, providing what some have called a “data treasure trove” for advertisers.
Adding to the pushback was the recent revelation that Microsoft was one of Silicon Valley’s privacy-compromised tech giants, and that the National Security Agency was using services provided by the Windows developer to conduct controversial domestic surveillance.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said.
Others speculate the technology could make its way into an Apple smart watch, which is also rumored to be under development.