Skip to main content

Apple's big gesture - Apple buys PrimeSense

After a long time of rumors and leaks, it's confirmed that Apple is acquiring gesture recognition company PrimeSense.

For those who don't know, it was PrimeSense's technology that powered Microsoft's original XBox (then Kinect) gesture-based gaming console. We predicted Apple's acquiring a gesture recognition company months ago, but expected that it would be one of the smaller companies.

This acquisition is the latest is a series of acquisitions in the gesture recognition area.  Google acquired FlutterIntel acquired Omek Interactive and Qualcomm acquired GestureTek.  In addition, Samsung has released gesture recognition of some of their latest phones and TVs, and many other companies are researching the area.

We're most excited by software approaches to gesture recognition, especially micro-gestures. But Apple's acquisition of PrimeSense shows their choice of a hardware solution.

The $256,000 question, of course, is what Apple is planning to do with PrimeSense's technology. Many are speculating that they'll incorporate it into a new Apple TV product, noting that an iOS-based TV would essentially enter the gaming market at the same time. Others are speculating that it will be incorporated into Apple's laptop computer line, a similar direction as the technology by Leap Motion that is incorporated into laptops by HP.

We believe, however, that it's more likely that Apple will try to use the PrimeSense sensor to further differentiate its iOS devices. For example, Apple recently introduced its famous fingerprint sensor in iPhones.  These sensors can be used for device security and for transaction security, but more importantly they can be used by 3rd-party applications for any authentication or security purpose. Motion sensors in iDevices could serve to control the device's scrolling and selection, but more importantly, could open up a wide variety of innovative applications. Innovative apps are, as we all know, the differentiation that Apple craves for iDevices.

Could a PrimeSense sensor in an iDevice detect when a car got too close to another car? Detect the height and gender of someone approaching a wall-mounted iPad? Detect facial contours well enough to recognize faces? Perform therapeutic gait analysis by sensing leg and body motion? Detect when people are drunk?

The possibilities appear endless for applications of PrimeSense sensors in iDevices.

Popular posts from this blog

Intel demos indoor location technology in new Wi-Fi chips at MWC 2015

Intel made several announcements at MWC 2015, including a new chipset for wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi) in mobile devices. This new chipset, the 8270, include in-chip support for indoor location positioning. Below we explain their technology and show a video of it in action. With this announcement, Intel joins Broadcom, Qualcomm and other chip makers in moving broad indoor location positioning into mobile device hardware.

The transition of indoor location positioning into chips is a trend identified in the newest Grizzly Analytics report on Indoor Location Positioning Technologies, released the week before MWC 2015. By moving indoor location positioning from software into hardware, chips such as Intel's enable location positioning to run continuously and universally, without using device CPU, and with less power consumption.

Intel's technology delivers 1-3 meter accuracy, using a technique called multilateration, generating a new location estimate every second. While 1-3 meter …

Seeing Quuppa's indoor location technology at MWC 2015

I first met Fabio and Kimmo from Quuppa in 2012, before Quuppa existed, when they had spent years researching indoor location positioning technologies at Nokia Research Center. Less than a year after that they formed Quuppa, independent of Nokia, to bring their technology to market. At the time I called Quuppa "the newest and oldest in indoor location positioning."

Fast forward two and a half years. Their technology has reached market, it can now track both smartphones and BLE devices, and it's accurate to within 20-50cm. Before reading more about their technology, take a look at a video of their demo in action:



Grizzly Analytics has analyzed indoor location technologies by over 150 companies, and virtually all of the radio-based technologies operate by measuring the distance between the device being tracked and other radio devices, and using these distance measurements for either multilateration or fingerprinting. For example, the well known BLE beacons measure a device…

33 Indoor Location Technologies at Mobile World Congress 2017

The number of companies exhibiting indoor location technologies at the 2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC) skyrocketed to 33!

Before MWC started, we released our Guide to Indoor Location at MWC, with 23 companies:


During the conference we notified our guide recipients of 10 other indoor location exhibitors that we saw. (Sign up here to receive our guide and to be on our mailing list for next year's MWC.)

This is many more indoor location related exhibits that previous years. The area is growing by leaps and bounds! Our recent report on indoor location technologies analyzed and profiled almost 200 companies!

Here are some videos, so you can see the technologies in action, followed by a list of the other indoor location companies that were at MWC.

First up is Philips Lighting, with high-accuracy indoor location positioning based on LED light modulation and visible light communication (VLC) technology:




Next comes Estimote, makers of Bluetooth (BLE) beacons, who introduced self-mapping b…