Following the news that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is looking to acquire local 3D sensor specialist Primesense, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has made an Israeli acquisition of its own. According to Geektime, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has paid up to $40 million to purchase gesture-recognition and tracking company Omek Interactive, moving its employees over to its perceptual computing division at its development center in Haifa.


The move will help Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) push through barriers with perceptual computing and gesture recognition with 3D cameras and will all go towards improving the overall user experience of portable and desktop devices.

Intel’s interest in Omek is primarily platform based

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s interest in Omek is primarily platform based. Instead of developing its own sensors, Omek’s strategy has been to “support the widest range of devices,” enabling developers to integrate gesture recognition and 3D motion tracking into their apps and even games. The company demonstrated its Windows 8 fingertip gesture control technology at CES earlier this year, demonstrating how users could control the Windows UI by using swipe, pinch and other subtle gestures.

Omek’s technology supports both close and long-range body tracking

Omek Interactive developed software for creating a gesture recognition interface based on information provided by a 3-D camera.

Omek’s technology supports both close-range and long-range body tracking, recognizing gestures from as close as 10 cm right up to full body tracking. Earlier this year, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) said it was working on a new Kinect-like interface for PCs that will recognize users and respond to them. To do this, it is building a small peripheral that can be attached to current-generation computers to add voice, gesture, and face recognition. Intel’s acquisition of Omek reaffirms its commitment to perceptual computing, which could help it take on Leap Motion in the battle for widespread adoption.

Omek Interactive was founded in 2007 by CEO Janine Kutliroff and her husband Gershom Kutliroff, the company’s chief technology officer.

This is Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s second Israeli acquisition in this field. In January 2012 it bought out Yokneam-based inVision Biometrics. In March, the VentureBeat website reported talks being held between Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and Omek, mentioning that Qualcomm and Samsung had also expressed an interest in making a bid for the Israeli company.