Intel buys Israeli startup Omek Interactive for $40 million

Giant microchip maker beats out Samsung and Qualcomm in picking up Haifa-based gesture-recognition and tracking firm.

Israeli gesture recognition and tracking firm Omek Interactive has agreed to be acquired by Intel for $40 million, according to reports. Rumors of a buyout have been swirling since March and both Samsung and Qualcomm were also reportedly interested in the Israeli startup.

Omek’s software allows computers and handheld devices to recognize hand and body movements – meaning the world of computing could soon be keyboard-free.

The company was founded by husband and wife team Gershom and Janine Kutliroff in 2006. The company’s 150 employees – who are based in Haifa – are expected to be integrated into Intel’s workforce.

“The acquisition of Omek Interactive will help increase Intel’s capabilities in the delivery of more immersive perceptual computing experiences,” Intel Israel spokesman Guy Grimland said.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.