If the Kinect and the Wii popularized the idea of gestures controlling machines, the rise of startups working in the area will take the technology to a wider base of platforms and users. One of these, Israel-based eyeSight Mobile Technologies, today picked up a round of $4.2 million in funding led by IP licensing firm CEVA and Mitsui & Co. Global Investment.
Additionally, current investors participating in this round include eyeSight’s largest investor, Professor Eli Talmor, who is founder and chairman of the Coller Institute of Private Equity at the London Business School.
Although the area of gesture-based controls for mobile devices is a relatively new area — with touchscreens being the norm in smartphones at the moment — there are signs that the technology is picking up speed: in addition to eyeSight’s news, today Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) announced that it would not only be creating a version of its Kinect platform for Windows but that it would be developing specific hardware for such services, too.
eyeSight’s touch-free interfaces, which rely on a device’s camera to read the gestures, can be made for devices running iOS, Android, Windows, Symbian and Linux among its OS platforms.
The release notes that the funds will mainly be used to extend the reach for eyeSight. It is here that eyeSights’s two new investors will come in especially handy: CEVA already counts 190 licensees, and the list includes biggies like Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Samsung; meanwhile, the company’s connection to Mitsui should open a lot of doors in Japan, a target country for expansion, says the company.