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China tech group invests in Israeli gesture recognition company

[JERUSALEM] Shenzhen-based technology group Kuang-Chi sees a bit of the future in EyeSight Technologies, making it willing to invest US$20 million in the Israeli company.

EyeSight, whose software allows a point of the fingertip to control the TV, fits into Kuang-Chi's strategy of investing in ideas that enable people to explore space, humans' link with with machines, and act as universal connectors, Ruopeng Liu, chairman of Kuang-Chi, said.

Part of the investment will be used to fund joint initiatives in Hong Kong and China.

"We are very interested in technology that can redefine the relationship between human beings and equipment," Mr Liu said in an interview. "EyeSight is a top company with technology to enable the computer, the equipment, to understand, gesture, motion, tiny movements of the human body."

EyeSight's software, based on computer vision and gesture recognition technologies, can be integrated into devices at any level, from the operating system to applications, and is already used by Toshiba Corp, Royal Philips NV, Lenovo Group Ltd and others, according to the company.

Israeli technology investment from China is growing 50 per cent annually, according to IVC Research Center. IVC expects the total raised in financing rounds with Chinese participation to reach as much as US$500 million this year, up from next to nothing in 2011.

Kuang-Chi this week said it's opening a Tel Aviv-based technology fund and incubator that will invest as much as US$300 million in Israel and abroad.

Kuang-Chi traveled the world to find the right place to locate its technology fund before picking Israel for "its people who have the spirit to create future technologies," Mr Liu said.

The Kuang-Chi group is already developing light-identification technologies and balloon platforms that will offer Internet services, act as replacements for satellite communications, or even promote near-space tourism.