Deals

Intel snaps up gesture computing firm Omek

omek screenshot
Image Credit: Omek

Intel is making a big play for gesture computing with the acquisition of Omek Interactive — a deal that we reported was in discussions back in March — the chip maker confirmed today.

Omek started out by offering a full-body motion sensing solution, similar to what PrimeSense developed for Microsoft’s Kinect. More recently, the company has focused on tracking close-range finger movements with 3D cameras.

“The acquisition of Omek Interactive will help increase Intel’s capabilities in the delivery of more immersive perceptual computing experiences,” Intel said in a statement to VentureBeat. Israeli news site Haaretz first reported the news.

Intel hasn’t confirmed the price of the deal, but various reports peg it between $30 million and $50 million. The company also isn’t discussing any timelines for how it will integrate Omek’s technology.

We previously heard that both Qualcomm and Samsung were considering offers for Omek as well.

The acquisition is yet another sign that gesture computing will be an even bigger focus in our gadgets over the next few years. It’s also another feather in the cap for Israel’s technology scene. Israeli social driving company Waze was just acquired by Google for around $1.3 billion, and Omek competitor PrimeSense, headquartered in Tel Aviv, is reportedly seeking a buyer as well.

“In this case, using depth of field camera data for gesture input will allow people to control their computers without touching them,” Jim Moore, the founder of tech mergers and acquisitions firm J Moore Partners, said in a previous interview with VentureBeat. “It is [the] early days for this technology as the application builders will need to build this into their interface and functionality. But the possibilities are enormous,” he added.