Israeli startups are a hot commodity in the tech world right now, especially the companies involved in more futuristic technology. That’s why Facebook-owned Oculus VR turned to an Israel-based gesture-control startup Pebbles to boost its own virtual reality offerings. While nothing official has been released, the Wall Street Journal’s sources claim that Facebook, through Oculus VR , has acquired the company for around $60 million.
Facebook Inc.’s Oculus VR said Thursday it agreed to buy Israel-based gesture-control company Pebbles Ltd. Oculus, the virtual-reality headset maker that Facebook bought last year, said Pebbles “will be joining the hardware engineering and computer vision teams at Oculus to help advance virtual reality, tracking, and human-computer interactions,” the company said on its blog. It didn’t disclose a price tag, but one person familiar with the matter said it was around $60 million. A representative for Facebook wasn’t immediately available. Pebbles has recently integrated its technology into the virtual-reality headset developed by Facebook’s Oculus VR, enabling users to interact with the device via hand and finger gestures. Unlike competing gesture-identification technologies, Pebbles’ enables users to see images of their own arms and hands in their virtual-reality display. In some other technologies, users can’t “see” their bodies, or only see generic digitally-generated versions. Pebbles’ technology can show unique features like clothing, scars or items held in one’s hand. The Israeli company, based in Kfar-Saba, some 14 miles northeast of Tel-Aviv, employs 50 people.