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Apple buys Israeli maker of XBox Kinect 3-D recognition

A pedestrian passes an Apple logo shortly before

A pedestrian passes an Apple logo shortly before the start of an Apple Inc. press event at Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. (Oct. 22, 2013) Credit: Bloomberg News

JERUSALEM - Apple Inc. has bought Israel-based PrimeSense Ltd., a developer of chips that enable three-dimensional machine vision, the companies said on Monday.

An Apple spokesman confirmed the purchase but declined to say how much it spent. Israeli media said it was about $350 million.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," an Apple spokesman said in an email.

A spokeswoman for PrimeSense said: "We can confirm the deal with Apple. Further than that, we cannot comment at this stage."

It was the second acquisition of an Israeli company by Apple in less than two years. Apple bought flash storage chip maker Anobit in January 2012.

PrimeSense's sensing technology, which gives digital devices the ability to observe a scene in three dimensions, was used to help power Microsoft's Xbox Kinect.

Apple's interest in PrimeSense was first reported in July by Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist. The paper last week noted that PrimeSense has raised $85 million from some of its investors such as Israeli and U.S. venture capital funds Canaan Partners Global, Gemini Israel and Genesis Partners.

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