July 16, 2015 / 2:00 PM / 2 years ago

Facebook's Oculus buys Israel gesture recognition firm Pebbles

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Facebook’s Oculus unit said on Thursday it has agreed to buy Israeli gesture recognition technology developer Pebbles Interfaces for an undisclosed amount.

The sign outside the Oculus VR booth is seen at the International Consumer Electronics show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The announcement was made in a blog posted by Oculus.

Israel’s Calcalist financial news website said the deal was worth tens of millions of dollars.

While other companies pioneering the virtual reality field focus on full-body movement, Pebbles’ technology detects and tracks hand movement. It is aimed primarily at gamers but also has applications for TV, computers, or smartphone operation while driving.

Recently Pebbles integrated its technology with Oculus glasses, which translate finger gestures into virtual movement through a camera mounted on the glass frame, Calcalist said.   

Investors in Pebbles include Chinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi, Israeli venture capital fund Giza and U.S. storage firm SanDisk, Calcalist said.

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Keith Weir

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