Intel Acquires Israeli Gesture Recognition Firm, Omek Interactive for US$40 Million
According to Geektime, Intel has acquired Israeli gesture recognition and tracking firm, Omek Interactive for US$40 million. This move affirms Intel's strategy of betting big on perceptual computing.
Rumors of the possible takeover of Omek Interactive had been brewing since March this year, and Samsung and Qualcomm were reportedly interested parties as well. In the end, Intel quashed the rumors, and the competing parties, with its acquisition of the Israeli-based firm to the tune of US$40 million.
Omek Interactive is a company that "provides middleware and tools which let you easily and cost-effectively add gesture recognition and tracking interfaces to your applications." The two main products of the firm are Omek Grasp and Omek Beckon. Grasp has been designed to enable users to interact with devices, using their gestures in close proximity. Beckon can be seen as the long-range counterpart of Grasp, as Beckon allows the user to control devices with his body and limbs.
Since the company's announcement at IDF 2011, Intel had made known they wanted to accelerate the development of perceptual computing. At this year's IDF, they announced their Perceptual Computing Software Developer Kit (SDK) to coincide with the company's Perceptual Computing Challenge. This initiative is a competition for developers to create innovative applications using the SDK, with cash rewards of up to US$1 million. With Omek Interactive under its wings now, the main challenge for Intel is the integration of Omek's gesture recognition and tracking technology into its grand plans for perceptual computing.