BET SHEMESH, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Omek Interactive, the leading provider of software for gesture recognition and full body tracking, today announced the appointments of gaming and technology industry executives Jonathan Epstein as president and Jon Grande as executive vice president, publishing. The company also announced the closing of a series B round of funding from an international group of private investors.
“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,” said CEO Janine Kutliroff. “And 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. Our investors recognize what our industry partners have recognized – that Omek’s platform-independent technology and tools create huge value and efficiency for application developers and hardware companies alike, by enabling them to write their applications and interfaces to work across any of the major 3D sensors.“
Omek’s software engine interprets the raw depth data provided by 3D sensors and uses patented and proprietary algorithms to perceive human bodies within the field of view and to overlay skeleton models on them. Specific movements of these skeletons can then be interpreted as gestures. Omek’s Shadow Development Suite™ provides application and interface developers with this engine and a full set of application programming interfaces for a wide range of programming languages and operating systems, as well as rapid development tools for gesture definition. By using the Shadow Development Suite, developers can write software that is immediately supportable on all of the major 3D depth sensors and a wide range of PC and embedded processors.
Regarding the selection of Epstein as company president, Kutliroff said, “Jon’s extraordinary track record speaks for itself. Not only is he a superb professional, but he’s fantastic to work with. At Omek, our whole philosophy is about making it easy for people and companies to work together – and Jon is an excellent example of someone who lives that philosophy.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to join Omek,” said Epstein. “We have a pivotal role to play in a user interface revolution which will impact society in every walk of life, and the business opportunity that comes from that is vast.“
Epstein has successfully launched and sold multiple companies in the technology, gaming, and media fields. Prior to Omek, Epstein was CEO of Double Fusion, the leading independent in-game advertising firm, and before that helped establish the digital media and gaming practice at United Talent Agency. Epstein was the founding CEO of GameSpot, which was sold to ZDNet, and was president of GameSpy, which was sold to IGN Entertainment, where he became executive vice president and general manager of the media division prior to its sale to Fox Interactive Media. He serves on the boards of several companies in the technology and gaming fields.
As executive vice president of publishing, Grande is spearheading Omek’s gaming and content business, which includes the company’s internal development studio, its affiliate content network, and its relations with the broader games developer and publisher communities. In his seventeen years at Microsoft, Grande played a key role in the development of Microsoft Game Studios and was the founder of Microsoft’s MSN Gaming Zone. Before Omek, Grande served as president of Exponential Entertainment, an online games publisher, and was an executive and advisor to several gaming-related startups.
“Gaming content has always played a key role in driving new technologies into computers and other platforms, and it’s no different in our world,” said Kutliroff. “Jon has a remarkable record in creating relationships with leading game developers and helping them understand how they can take advantage of new technologies and market opportunities.”
Omek will use the proceeds from its series B round to further its research and development efforts and to expand the sales and marketing teams across the major regions of the world.
Omek is transforming the way humans interact with software and devices, by providing middleware and development tools that allow interface and application developers to access the power of gesture recognition and full body tracking. Omek software is being incorporated into TVs, set-top boxes, digital signs, medical and fitness devices, and into the content and applications that run on these devices. The company is the only one in its field that supports all major 3D sensors, giving its hardware and software partners the ability to take advantage of the rapidly expanding range of sensor options without recoding. The privately held company is headquartered in Bet Shemesh, Israel, and has offices in San Francisco, Seattle and Tokyo.