News broke a few weeks ago that Intel acquired Israeli gesture-recognition start-up Omek Interactive. Omek's technology does gesture recognition based on 3rd-party 3D cameras.
Grizzly Analytics wrote almost 2 years ago that Omek was a likely acquisition target. Ironically, we wrote it then in the context of Intel's rumored acquisition of another Israeli gesture recognition company InVision BioMetrics, an acquisition that fell through. We're glad to see that Intel finally found the gesture start-up they want.
Intel's interest in gesture recognition is not new. Besides considering a gesture recognition acquisition almost 2 years ago, they released the video clip below over a year ago, announced a 3D camera recently, and have been researching gesture recognition themselves for years.
Their competitors have also been getting into gesture recognition: Qualcomm acquired GestureTek 2 years ago, Apple is rumored to be in acquisition talks with Primesense (another Israeli start-up, whose technology powers Microsoft's Kinect), and Texas Instruments is working in the area as well.
So what's next in gesture recognition? One likely acquisition target is XTR (Extreme Reality), which was rumored to be in deals with Samsung and NEC. Another likely acquisition target is EyeSight, whose solution is purely software based and runs on standard cameras.
Even more exciting to us, however, is the growing area of "micro-gestures" for mobile devices. Umoove's technology focuses on the user's face from a smartphone or tablet front-facing camera, and recognizes where the user's eyes are looking, head is tilted, etc. PointGrab recognizes hands, both where they move and where they make a grabbing motion. Grizzly Analytics thinks that micro-gestures is going to make a big splash before the end of 2013.
Congratulations to Omek - we look forward to seeing how their technology gets integrated into Intel's chips. Even more, we look forward to seeing how gesture recognition continues to evolve....