Creative-Sensaura fallout muffled so far

— 2:52 PM on December 5, 2003

Creative's shocking acquistion of Sensaura, the 3D audio technology provider for virtually everybody who's not Creative, has so far produced very little in the way of fallout. Even the big tech news sites don't seem to have caught on to the significance of this deal yet, perhaps because of Sensaura's somewhat unique status as an IP house rather like Rambus. Beyond the official press release, few outlets seem to be reporting on this one.

As soon as we heard the news, we fired off a volley of questions to many of the big players in PC audio to get their responses, but the PR types appear to have been caught off guard. We have many questions about Creative's Sensaura purchase and what it means for the industry. What is Creative planning for Sensaura? Will the company go the way of Aureal? Who knew about this deal before it was consummated? Were there any other bidders? And did Schipher really get the best value for its shareholders here?

The press release quoth thusly:

Dr Rudolph Burger, chief executive officer of Scipher said: "The sale of Sensaura demonstrates Scipher's ability to create value from commercialising IP, either through licensing or the development of IP-protected businesses which are then spun out or sold."
But we have to question Dr. Burger's assertion. $6.4 million doesn't seem much for Sensaura. Perhaps the company's technology was only worth that, but its strategic importance seems much, much greater. Doesn't it?

How could the keen folks at companies like NVIDIA, Intel, and VIA not have seen this coming? Surely they would have ponied up $6.5 million to block this move. And most importantly, what comes next? Are there any alternative technologies or IP houses ready to step in and supply Sensaura's present customers?

I expect those answers may take some time for the PR types to formulate. To date, only Creative has responded to our inquiries, with a very polite zilcho:

Thanks for your email. I've been told that Creative will be making future announcements on their plans regarding Sensaura. Until then, I'm not able to disclose any plans.
This purchase has got to be a total coup for Creative, but so far, the company's not even gloating yet. We'll keep banging the drum and see what the rest of the PC audio world has to say for itself. Perhaps by Monday they'll have some answers.
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