Report: Apple could have obtained Kinect technology before Microsoft

“Apple’s approach to negotiations may have cost it the technology that powers Microsoft’s Kinect, an anecdote revealed today,” Electronista reports. “The CEO of technology creator PrimeSense, Inon Beracha, explained during a flight that he had shopped the motion control technology first to Apple but that the company had asked him to sign ‘crippling’ legal deals and non-disclosure agreements. With other companies very interested at the time, there was no reason to agree to Apple’s terms, Beracha told Cult of Mac’s Leander Kahney. ‘Apple is a pain in the ass,”‘ Beracha claimed.”

Electronista reports, “Apple’s unintentional sacrifice of the technology may have come from its ad hoc negotiation method which only recently became refined with full-time staff. The lack of a dedicated team, and an absence of pressure to complete a deal, ultimately cost it the acquisition of AdMob.”

Read more in the full article here.

Leander Kahney reports for Cult of Mac, “PrimeSense’s system is at the heart of Microsoft’s new Kinect game controller, which is getting rave reviews and looks set to be a monster hit. It’s a “crazy, magical, omigosh rush,” says the New York Times‘ David Pogue. And it almost belonged to Apple.”

Full article here.


  1. I fail to understand the love people are showing for the new xbox and ps3 addons that make them wii like. What’s so special about showing up late to the party? Someone please enlighten me..

  2. @truth

    I guess it’s late to the gaming party as far as gimmicky games goes but, have we all become so detached that we aren’t excited at all by a system that brings voice recognition and commands, face recognition and movement tracking right into our homes? This type of tech is awesome and mostly we just disdain it online, no it’s not perfect but the potential is amazing, personally I can’t wait to see what the indie gamers do with it when they get the chance. Let’s recognize that MS has put out some crap but let’s also recognize this tech for what it us, something that has great potential and that we could only dream of being in our homes before. It all really depends on refining what it can do and imagination, there’s more there than just the gimmicky games, that’s just where it starts

  3. yep – $150 Kinect vs $200 Wii = Kinect FAIL.
    Apple could have obtained jetpacks before Microsloth too – so what? This is hype aimed at backing Microsloths ‘good choices’ and nothing else – pure hype. Apple specializes in utilizing technology to its fullest – not technology for its own sake. Touchscreens existed a long time ago, but it was the implementation that Apple fully considered. Kinect teardowns show a few camera and a motion sensor in a box – if i’m correct – and Apple is way beyond that level, designing batteries and cpus.

  4. “…Beracha believed it would also replace remote controls completely…”

    Whenever I read things like this, I recall a sequence from “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, in which Zaphod Beeblebrox listens to a radio equipped with a remote control so advanced that you only had to wave your hands to change the channel. Of course, it meant sitting absolutely still if you want to keep listening to the same channel.

    IOW, the user interface has to be optimized for its specific purpose. It’s not something that you throw into products without a lot of R&D. Apple knows this better than anyone.

    My gut tells me that this technology, amazing as it may be, requires a lot more fine tuning.

  5. In a world with iPods, iPads, and iPhones… who needs to have a separate gadget to play games…. it’s right here in your pocket or on your lap… I have no idea why they still think a game console should be a separate thing…. iPhone does games as good as it handles my Emails, web browsing, calls, contacts, etc.

  6. Is this another Bungie fiasco? Probably not. If it were truly ready for prime time Apple has learned to be aggressive. Look how fast that made the Intrinsity deal.

  7. I’ll reserve my judgement of Kinect because I’ve never used it. For certain gaming applications, I can see it being a runaway hit.

    Where computing is today, multi-touch is a far superior interface solution, though.

    Plus, if everyone can just go around breaking Apple’s multi-touch intellectual property, don’t really see why Apple couldn’t rip this off (and do it better) anyway down the road.

  8. That sucks. Incorporating it with Apple’s multi-touch technology would’ve brought us a big step closer to that vaunted “Minority Report” world.

    The good news is that Apple is at least working on multi-gestural recognition. I feared they might get left behind. I’m sure Microsoft is hard at work bringing Kinect-like features to other products, especially computers. They want to own that space.

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