Intel makes gesture recognition push with Omek acquisition

Intel could make strides in bringing natural interfaces to smartphones and tablets as a result of the purchase

Intel has moved to bring keyboard-free computing to PCs and mobile phones with the acquisition of Israel-based Omek Interactive.

Omek offers software and programming tools that allow computers and handhelds to recognize hand and body movements. Omek pushes its tracking and gesture products as a way to bring natural interfaces to devices, much like on gaming consoles such as Nintendo's Wii U and Microsoft's Xbox with Kinect.

Intel Israel spokesman Guy Grimland declined to disclose the amount paid for Omek Interactive. The acquisition, announced Tuesday, has already closed.

"The acquisition of Omek Interactive will help increase Intel's capabilities in the delivery of more immersive perceptual computing experiences," Grimland said in an email.

Chip maker Intel typically acquires underlying hardware and software technology that could be used with its hardware. Such acquisitions include Wind River, which has a real-time OS that is now embedded in Intel's chips such as Xeon Phi. Intel is also embedding security software from McAfee, which it acquired in 2011.

Intel in June announced a US$100 million fund to promote the development of applications that use gesture recognition and tracking technology. Intel offers a software development kit for such programs. Omek last month partnered with PC designer Compal to develop a touch-free computer.

As the PC market fades, Intel is also looking to establish a larger presence in the smartphone and tablet markets. The acquisition could give Intel a lead in bringing natural interfaces to handheld devices.

Right now Intel's Atom chips are used in a few mobile devices, but the chip maker is reducing the size and power consumption of its processors as it looks to catch up with market leader ARM Holdings.

Intel is not disclosing the timelines on future products that will integrate Omek's technology, Grimland said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesOmek InteractiveintelMergers and acquisitions

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?