Invision Biometrics, previously unexposed to the media, is a developer of 3D sensor PCBs which detect face and body movement and translate them into on-screen game moves, similarly to Microsoft's popular Kinect technology. The merger with Invision will enable Intel to respond to Kintec, which is based on a PCB developed by the Israeli company Primesense.
Calcalist learned that the deal is in its advanced stages. Invision was founded at an investment of $2-3 million, meaning that if the deal is sealed for $50 million, Invision's investors will pocket, after only four years, a profit 20 times higher than their original input. Among the company's major shareholders are the Technion Institute of Technology (14%) and founder and CEO Sagi Ben Moshe (36%). Half of the payment for the acquisition will be made in cash and the rest in Intel stock.
Invision Biometrics was founded on patents acquired from the Technion. Company co-founder Professor Ron Kimmel is a business partner of Terion founder Zaki Rakib. Kimmel has a long patent record in the field of image processing and served as consultant to several important players in the field such as Mediguide, which was acquired by St. Jude Medical for $283 million, and Quicksee, sold to Google for roughly $10 million.
Sources in the market tie Intel's acquisition of Invidion to last summer's investment of Intel's venture capital arm, Intel Capital, in the Israeli startup Omek Interactive, which develops body movement detection technology for gaming purposes. Intel Capital completed a $7 million financing round for the development of Omek Interactive's technology and its integration in television, digital broadcasting and computers. Intel seems to be aiming to develop a response to Microsoft's blockbuster Kinect, which sold 8 million units since it hit the markets and showed a 30% increase in sales in the second quarter of the year.
Israel has become an important exporter of 3D technologies with a roster of companies grabbed off the shelves by international giants such as 3DV, which was acquired by Microsoft two years ago, and Extreme Reality, which was acquired by Texas Instruments.
Intel and Invision were not available for response.
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