Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Top firms latch on to Israeli tech boom

As detailed by Viva Sarah Press of Israel21C, it's become a well-documented fact that Israel stands toe toe toe with the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 firms in Silicon Valley, Calif., when it comes to developing next-generation technologies and applications.

Israeli ingenuity in connected devices, wearables, perceptual computing and robotics is one of the hottest commodities the country's innovators have to offer.

Over the past month, Microsoft has just about closed its biggest deal on record, acquiring the cloud security company Adallom for a reported $320 million. If it indeed goes through, the purchase will be the largest ever completed in Israel by the American multinational. While Adallom's headquarters are in Palo Alto, Calif., its development centre is in Tel Aviv.

A logical acquisition for Microsoft, Adallom is the security firm that exposed the flaw in Microsoft's Office365 server following a hack in December 2013.

Similarly, and almost exactly a year after Facebook acquired Oculus and its headset the Oculus Rift, a popular virtual reality gaming headset, for $2 billion, the Facebook division has now bought Israel's vision specialist Pebbles Interfaces. It's reported the deal is valued at $60 million.

It appears Mark Zuckerberg's social media powerhouse will try to takes its users' experiences to the next level. On the homepage for Pebbles Interfaces, the Kfar Saba-based team wrote the following: "For the last five years, we've been focused on building a technology that extend human behaviour, enabling simple and intuitive interaction with any consumer electronic device."

According to a report from Ynet, Facebook is likely to now open "a VR development centre in Israel and benefit from abundant local talent in the field."

From the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology to the University of Haifa, there is most certainly no shortage.

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