Since Apple confirmed yesterday that it purchased PrimeSense, the company that developed sensor technology found in the original Xbox Kinect, people assumed that Apple plans to introduce gesture based technology into its iOS devices. A new theory suggests that the move may have actually been done to improve Apple Maps.
Apple has purchased several companies that offer different technologies as part of a long-term goal to increase the quality of its Apple Maps product. It's possible that the same goal may have sparked Apple's purchase of PrimeSense, according to former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin. Lessin has spoken with sources who say that PrimeSense's technology is behind the curve, which might explain why Microsoft no longer uses it for Kinect. However, it might make sense for Maps. Lessin explains:
PrimeSense's technology is much more strategic for mapping, according to one person familiar with the company. In fact, companies like Matterport, which makes a camera for mapping three-dimensional spaces, use its chips... Sooner rather than later, our phones will pull up scans of real spaces we want to visit or may be approaching. Those two-dimensional maps will seem very obsolete.
In simpler terms, PrimeSense might have the kind of technology that would make it possible to put a phone near a real-world object and recognize them or a location, something that could make Maps more useful.