Fell From the Tree

Apple buys Israel’s PrimeSense for $345 million: report

A Spokesperson for PrimeSense:

We are focused on building a prosperous company while bringing 3D sensing and natural interaction to the mass market in a variety of markets such as interactive living room and mobile devices.

I typically don’t comment on rumors. This is presented purely to comment on its significance. While most commentary on this has been focused around the long-rumored Apple TV set, there’s a deeper story here.

Firstly, PrimeSense called out mobile devices specifically in their comment, meaning they’re working on more than just living rooms.

Secondly, as Horace Dediu of Asymco has often pointed out on his excellent podcast The Critical Path, disruptions in technology are often centered around the introduction of new input methods. Apple has typically been involved with such disruption. In fact, it’s been Apple’s bread and butter over its entire history. The mouse brought PC computing to the masses, the clickwheel brought MP3 players into the mainstream, and multitouch brought on the smartphone revolution.

This provides some context for this potential acquisition. The introduction of Siri led us to believe that voice was going to be the next input method, but what if that isn’t the whole story? What if a combination of voice and motion sensing is the next disruptive input method?

This could get interesting.

UPDATE (11/24/13): An Apple spokesperson has confirmed this story to All Things D.