Avatar start-up Omek closes second round

The company develops software for gesture recognition and full body tracking.

Gesture recognition start-up Omek Interactive Ltd. has closed its second financing round from an international group of private investors. The company did not disclose the amount raised or the identity of the investors, but it reportedly raised several million dollars. The company will use the proceeds to hire two new executives and to further develop its product.

According to the Israel Venture Capital Association, Omek previously raised $3.3 million from ff Asset Management LLC, which specializes in early-stage start-ups, and other investors.

Omek CEO Janine Kutliroff and her husband CTO Dr. Gershom Kutliroff founded the company in 2006. Janine Kutliroff was previously served as CEO of IDT Global Israel and launched its subsidiary, Net2Phone Inc., which was sold to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) for $1.4 billion in 2001.

Beit Shemesh-based Omek develops software for gesture recognition and full body tracking. The technology is based on a 3D camera that converts body movement into 3D movement by an avatar on the screen. The user can control all movement made in the game or application using only body movements, without the need of a keyboard or remote control device. For example, the technology makes it possible to play virtual football using only foot motions, open folders with hand motions, or measure virtual clothes as if in a store.

Janine Kutliroff said, “Gesture recognition and control are transforming some of the most significant products in our society, from TVs, set-top boxes, game consoles and PCs to a huge variety of industrial devices. The ability to understand and interpret the movement of human bodies in 3D has huge implications for the entertainment, medical, fitness and automotive industries, among others."

Omek's competitors include PrimeSense Ltd., whose technology is the basis of Microsoft Corporation's (Nasdaq: MSFT) new game console, Kinect.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 26, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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