PrimeSense score new funding; Motion-sensing STBs, TVs & HTPCs incoming

PrimeSense, the motion-tracking company behind Microsoft's Kinect and ASUS' WAVI Xtion is obviously doing something right, as the company has just secured a new round of funding. The exact nature of the deal hasn't been disclosed, but when we talked to PrimeSense the company confirmed it was "extremely focused" on the "living room experience – browsing your media centre on your television."

As a result, PrimeSense is in talks with TV, STB and HTPC manufacturers, as well as service providers including traditional cable and satellite, and newer IPTV networks. While the company describes gaming as the kick-off point for "a revolution [in] changing the interface between man and machine", it's describing living room entertainment as "the next natural step for this technology."

That could include PrimeSense motion sensors embedded into mainstream TVs and set-top-boxes, controlling UIs in the same manner as BLITZ has shown today with their Kinect Flash hack. While we couldn't get PrimeSense to name any specific vendors it is dealing with, they did say there was another partnership agreement in the very near future, and confirmed that "other companies are also planning to launch PrimeSense-based systems this year."

Press Release:

Silver Lake Sumeru Announces Investment in PrimeSense, Leading Israeli Technology Provider

TEL AVIV, Israel and MENLO PARK, California, January 12, 2011 – Silver Lake Sumeru announced today that it has made a strategic investment in PrimeSense Inc. ("PrimeSense"), the global leader in sensing and recognition technologies for consumer markets. The transaction marks Silver Lake's first investment in Israel's growing technology sector. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Through its proprietary Natural Interaction Technology, PrimeSense enables 3D mapping and gesture recognition capabilities in consumer electronics such as televisions, gaming systems, and personal computers. Tracking body movements and gestures, PrimeSense technology sets a new paradigm by allowing consumers to operate electronic devices without a handheld device or a remote control.

Silver Lake Sumeru is the $1.1 billion middle market tech-focused fund within Silver Lake. Silver Lake manages over $14 billion in assets and is the global leader in private investments in technology and technology-enabled industries. Silver Lake's portfolio companies include global technology leaders such as Skype and Avago, as well as emerging leaders such as Power-One and i2.

"PrimeSense has developed game-changing technologies that revolutionize the way consumers interact with living room entertainment and video communication devices," said Paul Mercadante, Managing Director of Silver Lake Sumeru. "The company is the global leader in gesture technology with a talented management team, experienced board, and partnerships with some of the world's premier technology companies. We look forward to working with PrimeSense to realize its significant growth potential."

"We are thrilled to welcome Silver Lake Sumeru as our investor and partner and appreciate this strong vote of confidence in both our team and the adoption of Natural Interaction technology," said Inon Beracha, PrimeSense's CEO. "PrimeSense looks forward to leveraging Silver Lake's deep technology expertise and strategic insight as we continue to innovate and grow."

Ajay Shah, Founding Managing Director of Silver Lake Sumeru said, "PrimeSense represents our first investment in Israel's dynamic technology sector. We look forward to partnering with PrimeSense management and will continue to seek out investment opportunities in leading global technology companies in Israel and in emerging markets around the world."

As part of Silver Lake Sumeru's investment, Paul Mercadante will join PrimeSense's board of directors.