3D sensor co PrimeSense attracts Vegas attention

The fabless start-up's technology has been rumored to be part of Microsoft's games platform.

Israeli start-up PrimeSense Inc. today made its first ever official announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, after the company kept under the radar during its four and a half years of existence.

Today's announcement by PrimeSense, a fabless developer of 3D sensing and recognition technologies, about its Experience Partner Program for collaboration with industry leaders developing natural interaction with consumer electronic devices, was quite dry in itself. However, reports in recent months that the company was supplying the core technology for Microsoft Corporation's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Natal program, which the software giant hopes will become its future gaming platform, has turned PrimeSense into one of the sexiest and most fascinating companies in the Israeli start-up arena and possibly one of the industry's greatest potential successes.

PrimeSense president Aviad Maizels, CTO Alexander Shpunt, Dima Rais, Ophir Sharon, and Tamir Berliner co-founded the company, which is run by CEO Inon Beracha. The concept is to create a better interface for computer installations, which is of particular relevance for the entertainment industry, for games and content consumption.

PrimeSense has developed a kind of digital environment that can locate and analyze the movements of participants in 3D, making it possible to control the computer system with simple movements. The company has raised $30 million to date from Genesis Partners, Gemini Israel Funds, and Canaan Partners.

Even now, with PrimeSense's emergence into prime-time, the company's executives have remained cagey about sales deals. Maizels declined to disclose the names of customers, saying, "They will announce the agreements when they choose."

As for the case of Microsoft, it can be assumed that even without any comment by PrimeSense, the rumors are true and that the companies have a strong collaboration.

Maizels said, "If our sales deals turn out to be successes, then we're on the way to becoming a great company, and we won't have to raise more money from investors."

However, the company will need a lot of money to meet demand in different markets, which will probably lead to an IPO within a couple of years. The company has 85 employees, and Maizels said, "We're definitely seeking to grow."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 6, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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