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. @ R2

    I really don’t want to be waving at my computer to make it do things the that subtle (but extremely accurate) movements of my fingers can do. It’ll be awhile before we have images floating in space like in Minority Report that would make that at all practical.

  2. Apple doesn’t pander to anyone – Steve Jobs has always been a no bullshit straight arrow – Apple has come thus far because of that.

    Bottom line – if you don’t like it, lump it.

  3. Microsoft has a huge investment in gaming consoles with their X-Box franchise. It made perfect sense for MS to go after this technology (especially on the heels of the Wii’s success). I truly doubt that Apple had any serious interest. Apples emphasis and recent success is based on “touch”. This tech does not fit in with this.

    As the owner of an X-Box console I have been paying attention to Kinect. It will be interesting to see how is ultimately implemented.

  4. Philosophically multi-touch and motion systems are not necessarily compatible. Everything Apple does is aimed to make the magical effortless for the user. A motion system where you have to move like a mad conductor is the opposite. If I can turn all the lights off in my house with 1 click on the iPhone, then it is far easier than and effective than doing “Clap-On-Clap-Off”.

    I know. I have a WII, and it is boring after a few games. You cannot compare it to snowboarding, tennis, or golf playing for real. You cannot do it while relaxing in a cafe or in public transit either.

  5. @ZealotDetector

    It would have been kind of stupid for Apple to buy it.

    Steve Jobs: “Here’s our awesome new motion sensing videogame controller! Wait, what? We don’t make a videogame console? Oh. Well, shit…”

    Also, I’ll go out on a limb and say the Kinect was ultimately a bad idea in the first place. The reviews are actually mixed, they say its motion detection can be shoddy, and there’s really nothing it does that that the Playstation Eye doesn’t already do, except for cost alot more money and take up more space. Oh, and have more hype behind it.

    Even if Apple did make a console, I seriously doubt turning down PrimeSense would’ve been a loss. Hell, they weren’t even offering anything unique.

  6. @ZealotDetector
    “…I bet if they had bought it, the response would have been how great Apple is. …”

    1. How much do you want to wager?
    2. How are we going to prove this bet?

    Plus, if Apple had bought PrimeSense’s motion control technology, I’ll bet they would have made it even more awesome.
    And I’ll bet Microsoft totally screws it up.

    1. I’ll bet $100 on each scenario.

  7. kinnect is great – for preteens that love to jump around. for everyone else, it will get old very fast. its UI is just too limited in scope while too much effort at the same time.

    teens and grownups will want the Sony Move, now a better version of the Wii with much more gameplay abilities than Kinnect. the PS3 will sell well from now on.

    but – as an add-on for the still-working xx million XBoxes, Kinnect will be very popular for those households with young kids. so it will sell a lot and be considered a success, depite its niche market.

    the big loser here is Nintendo. the Wii HD should be going on sale now too, but Nintendo stupidly thought it could milk the old one for another year.

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