Start-Up Behind Kinect Gesture Recognition Gets Funding

An Israeli startup behind key parts of Microsoft’s Kinect game device is getting a fresh round of funding to help expand the use of its gesture recognition technology in electronics.

Silver Lake, a private equity firm with investments in Skype and other technology companies, has invested an undisclosed amount in PrimeSense Inc., a company behind some of the key ingredients in Kinect, a device that lets Xbox 360 players operate games with body movements. One of the hit products of the holiday season, Microsoft says it shipped more than 8 million Kinects in the product’s first 60 days on the market.

The Kinect’s success has put a spotlight on the category of gesture recognition, an area PrimeSense is seeking to develop with a variety of new non-game applications. At the Consumer Electronics Show last week, the PC maker Asustek showed off a product called the Wave Xtion that uses PrimeSense to navigate Web content and other PC applications on a television set. PrimeSense also showed its technology in action with televisions from Haier and others.

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