How the Microsoft Kinect Tech Almost Went to Apple

Mike Halsey MVP
Nov 6, 2010
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Apple, Companies

Update: Microsoft has since then integrated Kinect system in the recently released Xbox One gaming system and also made it available for computers running Windows as well.

Update 2: Since Kinect raised the price of the Xbox One system quite a bit, Microsoft made the decision to untie it from the Xbox again. You can purchase the console now with or without Kinect included. Expect to pay about $100 more for it if Kinect is included.

As Microsoft's new Xbox 360 motion-sense controller launches an interesting story has emerged on the website Cult of Mac.

The core technology was acquired, as so often happens these days, with Microsoft purchasing it from the company that developed it.  In this case Israeli company PrimeSense.

It has now transpired that PrimeSense initially approached Microsoft's rival Apple about the technology because of their CEO, Inon Beracha felt that Apple "...was the most natural place for the technology"

Apple has a history of interface innovation, of course, and had recently introduced the iPhone with its paradigm-shifting multi-touch UI. PrimeSense’s system went one step further: It was multi-touch that you didn’t even have to touch. Apple seemed like a natural fit.

Beracha had several meetings with Apple but they did not go well with Apple asking him to sign what he describes as "crippling legal agreements and NDAs".

In the end it became obvious that a deal with Apple was never going to happen and so the technology was later acquired by Microsoft to, I think, everyone's benefit.

It is unclear how Apple might have used this technology given their current product line-up which is probably why a deal was never reached.


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  1. Martin said on November 6, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    I get mine next week and am pretty excited about it, even though most games look mediocre at best at this point in time. I do however have high hopes for some of the games that come out next year, like Panzer Dragoon for instance (if Sega could only develop a decent Panzer Dragoon Saga successor) or gasp a worthy Shining Force game (heck I would love to play that first five games via Kinect). For now, I’m only interested in the fitness title, we will see how that goes.

    1. Mike Halsey said on November 7, 2010 at 11:42 am

      Don’t forget that whenever a new console comes out there’s normally 1 good game and the rest are mediocre. It takes time to develop games for new hardware and find ways to get the best out of it.

      For myself I’m pretty sure that Kinect will mark the death knell of exercise DVDs :) It’ll be brilliant for exercise

      1. Martin said on November 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm

        That’s the main reason I bought it ;) But I’d love to see some great interactive games, imagine a poker game where you sit on the table and play like in a real poker room, or a virtual holiday or sightseeing game. Lots of possibilities there.

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