Apple buys PrimeSense: Could Macs or AppleTV get their own Kinect?

Using a peripheral to interact with your computer is so passé. Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners have the Kinect to dance in front of, and PlayStation gamers have a camera that can be used in much the same way. PC users can turn to the likes of Leap Motion if they like the idea of eschewing traditional forms of control, and an increasing number of smartphones can recognize eye and hand movements. Now it looks as though Apple is joining the party by buying 3D motion detection specialists PrimeSense.

This may not be a firm that sounds all that familiar, but you're almost certainly aware of the Israeli company's work -- Kinect for the Xbox. Yep, you read that correctly. Apple is buying the firm behind one of the most interesting and innovative features of Microsoft's game console. While no details of the purchase have been revealed, and no mention made of any money that may have swapped hands, PrimeSense has confirmed that the purchase is going ahead.

We asked whether the sale was happening and what we could expect to see in the future from the joining of forces. In a brief statement, the company responded with "We can confirm the deal with Apple. Further than that, we cannot comment at this stage".

So what can we expect to see as a result of this purchase? Well the most obvious result would be the addition of gesture-based control to Apple TV, but it needn't end there. The same technology could also find its way into iPhones and iPads -- Samsung has implemented facial and motion detection into various handsets, and it would make sense for Apple to follow suit. Motion detection has, thus far, been mainly implemented for living room devices, so it will be interesting to see whether Apple continues down this route or decides to concentrate on mobile device, or even Leap Motion-style desktop control.

How would you make use of 3D motion technology? Have the big players missed any tricks that would make your life easier?

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