According to reports in Israeli media, consumer electronics giant Apple is currently in negotiations to acquire Israel's Friimsns (PrimeSense) for somewhere around $300 million.
Negotiations between representatives of each company were completed in recent weeks which resulted in Apple expressing interest in buying products from Friimsns, and those talks reportedly led to the purchase offer. Sources stress that negotiations between the companies are "in the very early stages," but they say Apple is deadly serious about using the company's technology and adapting it to future Apple products.
Apple is already one of the cutting edge tech companies operating in Israel, and they currently operate three R&D centers in that nation which employ 300-400 workers.
And this isn't the first instance where Apple moved to acquire an Israeli tech company. In 2011, Apple snapped up Anovit Herzliya (a flash memory storage company) for some $390 million.
This time around, Apple's Tel Aviv research center is rumored to be working on sensing technologies relating to three-dimensional analysis of body and facial movements and then converting those movements into computer activity.
Friimsns is said to be the company behind the development of the Kinect camera, although Microsoft is now using another technology.
The sources say Apple is looking to Friimsns to launch innovations this year which would identify subtle movements of the fingers, and it's that technology Apple hopes to shoehorn into smaller devices like the Apple TV box, other cable boxes, satellite and digital recorders, and gaming consoles.
The acquisition would allow Apple to provide MacBooks that support in-air motion gesturing for interactive gaming capabilities.
So why purchase a small Israeli firm? The sources says Friimsns is the holder of critical patents which would preclude similar products from entering the home entertainment market.
It's thought that the technology could be adapted to voice commands and gestures which could then be used to control TV screen menus.
As it stands, Apple users can play computer games on a TV by connecting the iPhone, iPad and iPods to their Apple TV media device through AirPlay wireless technology, but Apple has yet to enter the television gaming market in direct competition with Google and Samsung. Samsung is already a player in that market with TV Masada, a device which functions using hand and body gestures.
The Friimsns innovation features an integrated system of hardware and software which recognize faces, facial expressions and body movements, and then translates that information for use in computer games.
Friimsns is located in Tel Aviv and boasts some 150 employees.
The company was founded by veterans of the Corps technological unit: Aviad Maizels, Alex Fontana Tamir Berliner and Dima Rice and operates under the direction of Inon Beracha, the former CEO of DSP Group.