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PrimeSense tech seen powering gesture controls for future Apple television products

post #1 of 43
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Apple's confirmed purchase of PrimeSense, makers of technology that powered Microsoft's first-generation Kinect sensor, has helped to fuel speculation that a future Apple TV product, whether a next-generation set-top box or a full-fledged television set, will be controlled by gestures.

PrimeSense


After Apple confirmed on Sunday that it has bought Israeli company PrimeSense, analyst Maynard Um of Wells Fargo Securities said he believes Apple will leverage the technology to add innovative control methods to its living room based efforts. He views the PrimeSense purchase as a good move for Apple, as the analyst feels the company was lagging behind rivals Samsung and Microsoft in that respect.

"We believe the announcement may be an indication that Apple is in early preparation for a television offering or material functional improvements to its current Apple TV offering," Um said in a note to investors on Monday.

However, the analyst doesn't expect that Apple will release a television set in the near future. If the company were to develop and sell its own TV set, such a device is "unlikely" to be released in 2014, he believes.

The three-dimensional motion tracking technology was most famously used by Microsoft in its first-generation Kinect sensor for Xbox 360. Since then, with its new Xbox One game console, the next-generation version of Kinect has switched to technology from Microsoft-acquired companies 3DV and Canesta.

Apple TV


Outside of Kinect, PrimeSense's technology has been found in devices such as iRobot's Ava healthcare robot and Matterport's full-color 3D scanners. In those devices, PrimeSense's sensors are used to create a three-dimensional model of the environment for navigation and human interaction.

The price tag for PrimeSense is said to be be between $345 and $360 million. Bloomberg pegged the deal at $350 million, though Apple has not revealed how much it paid.

Apple has a history of buying highly specific companies for key features in upcoming products. Its acquisition of PA Semi for $278 million in 2008 paved the way for custom A-series chips in the iPhone and iPad, while the purchase of Lala for $85 million in late 2009 set the stage for iTunes Match and iTunes in the Cloud.

More recently, Apple bought AuthenTec, maker of fingerprint scanning technology, in 2012 for $356 million. Just over a year later, that technology was introduced as Touch ID, the new secure fingerprint sensor found in Apple's flagship iPhone 5s.
post #2 of 43
Oh goody. Imagine the automated covert surveillance of your home activities once the NSA hacks it.

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post #3 of 43
Could be auto's infotainment or even game or engineering design applications...I wonder why Apple got loose of leap motion
post #4 of 43

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

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post #5 of 43
Apple innovation again. Copying Microsoft.
post #6 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylorouge View Post

Apple innovation again. Copying Microsoft.

 

 

Irony?

 

Could only be.

 

For those who did not get it:

 

 

loopinsightDOTcom:
PrimeSense provided the 3D object sensing technology behind the Microsoft Kinect. Wonder if Apple gets a nickel for every Xbox sold.
post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

Oh goody. Imagine the automated covert surveillance of your home activities once the NSA hacks it.

 

 

Google makes money with yr web activities, No Such Agency was build is supported by politicians that can be get-rid-of.

post #8 of 43
And Gene Munster was last seen awkwardly running for the nearest restroom.

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post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylorouge View Post

Apple innovation again. Copying Microsoft.

And if Apple does something that the Kinect doesn't do then is it still copying the way you and your ilk claim Apple did nothing extraordinary with touch displays, their own silicon, or anything else since the start of the computer revolution?

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post #10 of 43

Touch displays were first introduced by Microsoft as a Pocket PC even Tablet computers with a Stylus. Apple improved upon their technology. They took their existing technology to the next level. They might do it again with their version of Kinect.

post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylorouge View Post

Touch displays were first introduced by Microsoft as a Pocket PC even Tablet computers with a Stylus. Apple improved upon their technology. They took their existing technology to the next level. They might do it again with their version of Kinect.

MS was first to introduce?

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post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylorouge View Post
 

Touch displays were first introduced by Microsoft as a Pocket PC even Tablet computers with a Stylus. Apple improved upon their technology. They took their existing technology to the next level. They might do it again with their version of Kinect.

 

 

Not their tech, Apple implemented its version ( Apple tech is based on fingerPrint tech, if i am not mistaken ).

Microsoft did write its version of the PrimeSense technology in the latest XBox.

post #13 of 43

Yes I had a Viewsonic Pocket PC and a Pocket PC phone. Here is a link. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2002/feb02/02-19phoneeditionpr.aspx

post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylorouge View Post
 

Touch displays were first introduced by Microsoft as a Pocket PC even Tablet computers with a Stylus. 

Oof, you just waved a red flag at a rodeo.  Not even close to true.

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post #15 of 43

What does it mean? 

post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylorouge View Post

What does it mean? 

What do you think it means?

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post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylorouge View Post
 

What does it mean? 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton_MessagePad

 

And I'd be careful about claiming anything technological as "the first".  There's almost always something relevant that predates your claim, unless you've studied the topic in great depth.

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post #18 of 43

Thanks for the Link. I know about the Newton and Palm Pilot. The Pocket PC was closer to an iPhone because it was a Phone touch screen the first of its kind. That is what I meant. Apple improved on that and they might do the same again.

post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylorouge View Post

Thanks for the Link. I know about the Newton and Palm Pilot. The Pocket PC was closer to an iPhone because it was a Phone touch screen the first of its kind. That is what I meant. Apple improved on that and they might do the same again.

One of the first, and perhaps THE first, commercially available touchscreen phones was the Simon from IBM. That was about 20 years ago.
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post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

Oh goody. Imagine the automated covert surveillance of your home activities once the NSA hacks it.

Don't buy it then?
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

One of the first, and perhaps THE first, commercially available touchscreen phones was the Simon from IBM. That was about 20 years ago.

BIG difference between 'commercially available' and commercially successful'.
post #22 of 43

Thank you for your reply I didn't know about this. Good to know.

post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

BIG difference between 'commercially available' and commercially successful'.

Had IBM and BellSouth decided to pursue it no telling if or how successful they might have been. Part of the problem at the time was that Motorola reportedly wasn't anxious to build it and create a future competitor.
Edited by Gatorguy - 11/25/13 at 8:22am
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post #24 of 43
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
will be controlled by gestures.

 

Yes, gesture control… ON TOUCHSCREENS. Not waving around in midair like a lunatic. That doesn’t work, nor will it ever. Apple bought these guys for the underlying tech and the patents associated with the gestures they came up with.

 

A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wavebands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive—you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme.

Zaphod waved a hand and the channel switched again. The music swirled and dived for a moment. Another voice broke in, presumably Halfrunt. He said: “Well, Zaphod’s jist zis guy you know?” but got no further because an electric pencil flew across the cabin and through the radio’s on/off sensitive airspace. Zaphod turned and glared at Trillian—she had thrown the pencil.

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post #25 of 43
There have been some rumors about Microsoft possibly selling the Xbox division under new leadership. The problem with Microsoft is they are a business-oriented company and their products like Bing and XBox don't make much money at all. Some people see them as distractions from growing their more profitable products. For the past 3 years (2013, 2012, 2011), the income has been:

Windows, $9.5b, $11.5b, $12.2b
Servers, $8.1b, $7.2b, $6.1b
Online (bing etc), -$1.2b, -$8.1b, -$2.6b
Business (Office etc), $16.1b, $15.8b, $14.6b
Entertainment (Xbox), $0.8b, $0.4b, $1.2b

It's clear to see Microsoft's money-makers are their Windows, Office and server products. Bing is losing money and the Xbox doesn't make much money. Once they appoint a new CEO, they may decide to take the company in a different direction. This is one of those areas where the pursuit of growing profits conflicts with the designation of value. The XBox is one of the few products Microsoft makes that people genuinely respect their brand for.

The television market is larger and there are stats here:

http://bgr.com/2013/11/07/tv-market-worldwide-decline-2013/

255m TVs in 2011, 238m in 2012, 226m in 2013. Samsung has about 25% of it and the next one down is LG at 16%, Sony around 10%. Apple sells about 2 million Apple TVs per quarter. If they did a gesture TV properly and could finally get rid of the remote, I could see that selling enough volume to match Sony's 10%. This would be 23m units per year worldwide or just under 6m per quarter. At $1000 per unit, this is $6b revenue and say just under $1.5b net profit.

Laminated anti-glare OLED display, online VOD content, gestures and possibly a touch remote. Parental controls can be easy with a sensor as it can detect the size of people in front of the TV so if a small child walks into the view, it can restrict channels and content. If it detects a couple on the sofa, it can recommend romantic comedies and then secretly push an action movie onto the nearby iPad for the guy to watch.

It's riskier making a TV than a set-top box but also a lot more profitable. It's hard to sell upgrades though. To make an entrance into the market, Apple has to make a big impact by doing something really well and then selling the next upgrade is even harder.
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

BIG difference between 'commercially available' and commercially successful'.

Had IBM and BellSouth decided to pursue it no telling if or how successful they might have been. Part of the problem at the time was that Motorola wasn't anxious to build it and create a future competitor.

If the dog hadn't quit runnin', it woulda been a race.
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Yes, gesture control… ON TOUCHSCREENS. Not waving around in midair like a lunatic. That doesn’t work, nor will it ever. Apple bought these guys for the underlying tech and the patents associated with the gestures they came up with.

I find it highly doubtful that PrimeSense, a company known for camera-captured 3D gestures have any notable patents in the contact-gesture area that Apple would be interested in.  Apple bought FingerWorks; they're already well-enabled with IP when it comes to multi-touch contact-gestures.

 

Do you have any specific patents in mind that are informing this opinion?

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post #28 of 43
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post
I find it highly doubtful that PrimeSense, a company known for camera-captured 3D gestures have any notable patents in the contact-gesture area that Apple would be interested in.

 

I realize applying the camera gestures to a surface would probably require another patent, but doing so seems far more likely than dancing in front of a TV to turn it on or waving your hand above your phone to make a call. 


Hasn’t Samsung tried that and found that not only does it not work but no one would want to use it anyway?

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post #29 of 43

What camera gestures are you thinking of?  How would you apply them to a contact surface?  And why would you need to spend $360bn to acquire some half-applicable patents that you'd need to reregister in a different medium anyway?

 

I don't see this being likely at all.

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post #30 of 43
I think a most likely use would be for augmented binocular vision in low light situations, and for people with diminished vision due to retina problems or glaucoma.

For the wearable screens Apple already has patents on.
post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

One of the first, and perhaps THE first, commercially available touchscreen phones was the Simon from IBM. That was about 20 years ago.

Phones you say. So this wasn't it:

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post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

I think a most likely use would be for augmented binocular vision in low light situations, and for people with diminished vision due to retina problems or glaucoma.

For the wearable screens Apple already has patents on.

Excellent idea. Night vision in 3-D.

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post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylorouge View Post

Touch displays were first introduced by Microsoft as a Pocket PC even Tablet computers with a Stylus. Apple improved upon their technology. They took their existing technology to the next level. They might do it again with their version of Kinect.

Doncha just love history-rewrites?
Edited by tribalogical - 11/25/13 at 11:48am
post #34 of 43
If you think that Apple is going to use PrimeSense technology to control an iPhone or iPad... I believe you are wrong. As others have stated, actual touching of the screen gives more precise and interactive control.

I suspect that Apple will use the iPhone and iPad touch screen to control the PrimeSense tech -- 3D depth-sensor in conjunction with the higher-resolution camera on the back of the device.

I posted 2 short videos on the other thread (shown below) that shows how this might work.


Now here's where it starts to get interesting...

I've been surfing around and it appears that the DSLR camera market is shrinking (as the point-and-shoot did before it). The major reason seems to be that for many (most?) uses, top-end smart phone cameras are good enough.


Then, circa 2007-9, a technology called folding optics was developed -- where you can get high-quaity optical zoom from a lens that never moved or protruded from the front of a camera.

Several cameras were built using this tech -- but they weren't successful!

    

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/T10/T10A4.HTM


Now, almost 5 years later, it may be possible to implement this tech in an iPhone or iPad with better quality at lower cost.

If so, your iPhone or iPad could be your go-to camera for all but the most special cases:



Here's the post from the other thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I think Apple is more interested in what you will be able to do when you're in back of the camera rather than in front of it.

I'd not make any large bets one way or another yet...other than consider buying more AAPL.


Have a look at this:



Then consider a large view "camera" with a 64-bit APU and an M7 specialized Motion Chip -- that could concurrently display the HD Camera image and/or the 3D Depth-Sensed image....

Where each object is uniquely (separately) identified and can be measured and interacted with...

Then, consider the possibilities...


I'll give you just one: Crowd Sourced Street/Aisle View for outdoor and indoor mapping.


Edit:

Then there's this:

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post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Had IBM and BellSouth decided to pursue it no telling if or how successful they might have been. Part of the problem at the time was that Motorola reportedly wasn't anxious to build it and create a future competitor.

 

Motorola wasn't anxious to do anything long term. 

post #36 of 43
You're finding some really interesting links and videos, Dick.

One thing I just thought of... with technologies like PrimeSense, it should be possible to create an automated, intelligent traveling matte for special effects and computer graphics integration with the addition of z-axis information. Backgrounds could automatically be stripped and and replaced, for example everything in the shot past a marker or at a specified distance (sort of like how CGI techs will LIDAR scan a set to enhance match-move accuracy).
Edited by SpamSandwich - 11/25/13 at 3:04pm

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post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylorouge View Post

Apple innovation again. Copying Microsoft.

Microsoft did not invent the kinect. They had Primsense build it for them from tech invented by Primsense.  Apple simply bought the company.  The innovation will come with how Apple uses the tech from Primsense.   Just like how they used multiple sensors in there home button for TouchID so that there was no swiping of your finger.


Edited by Mechanic - 11/25/13 at 3:54pm
post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

You're finding some really interesting links and videos, Dick.

One thing I just thought of... with technologies like PrimeSense, it should be possible to create an automated, intelligent traveling matte for special effects and computer graphics integration with the addition of z-axis information. Backgrounds could automatically be stripped and and replaced, for example everything in the shot past a marker or at a specified distance (sort of like how CGI techs will LIDAR scan a set to enhance match-move accuracy).

Yes!

Apple Maps:
  1. select a building from overhead, say St. Patrick's Cathedral, NYC
  2. nearby surrounding buildings are masked out
  3. tour St. Patrick's in 3D without any obstructions


Filming video with a "camera" with 3D Depth Sense
  1. isolate on the quarterback and a tight end
  2. mask out (blur, opacity) other players
  3. replay the highlight

...and the beat goes on
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post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylorouge View Post

Touch displays were first introduced by Microsoft as a Pocket PC even Tablet computers with a Stylus. Apple improved upon their technology. They took their existing technology to the next level.

Apparently, you can't tell or know the difference between resistive and capacitive touch screens. One isn't built on the other, it's a completely distinct technology.
Edited by JeffDM - 11/25/13 at 6:11pm
post #40 of 43
"However, the analyst doesn't expect that Apple will release a television set in the near future. If the company were to develop and sell its own TV set, such a device is "unlikely" to be released in 2014, he believes."

Could this be the first time an 'analyst' is right about anything???
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