THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

Boom 3D

Enjoy Immersive Audio on Your Mac


Rumor: Apple Almost Bought Kinect in 2008

Fascinating rumor posted by Cult of Mac today: according to author Leander Kahney, Apple almost acquired the company behind today’s Microsoft’s Kinect controller in 2008. According to the rumor, Inon Beracha, CEO of Israeli company PrimeSense, had been visiting many companies in the Silicon Valley to sell the technology, developed by engineers in the Israeli military.

Based on cameras and an infrared sensor to recognize users’ movements in space, Beracha thought Apple would be interested in applying the technology in its products.

In fact, he’d already had several meetings at Apple. It was the first place he and his engineers thought of. “It was the most natural place for the technology,” he said.

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

Yet the initial meetings hadn’t gone so well. Obsessed with secrecy, Apple had already asked Beracha to sign a stack of crippling legal agreements and NDAs.

Due to Apple’s usual secrecy (but I guess that with such a technology in your hands, you want to use some secrecy – especially in the Valley) the deal didn’t go through, and Microsoft eventually used the motion-based technology to deploy Kinect, formerly known as Project Natal.

In the meantime, you can also check out a video detailing how Kinect actually works below.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.