Intel acquires Idesia Biometrics

Intel will pay several million dollars for the biometrics start up, which identifies people based on their unique heartbeat.

Sources inform "Globes" that Intel Corporation (Nasdaq: INTC) has acquired Israeli medical device company IDesia Biometrics. Intel has for some time been showing interest in the medical sector and this has now been reflected in the acquisition of Idesia for several million dollars. Idesia develops heart-based biometric technology that allows personal computers, mobile phones and gadgets to personally recognize heartbeats.

IDesia, which was founded by CEO Dr. Daniel Lange and Yossef Gross, uses an electrical signal generated by the heartbeat to create an “electro biodynamic signature” unique to every individual, establishing a biometric identity that cannot be forged. The product only requires contact between the finger of the person being checked and a small metal sensor, and it therefore can be used at airports and border crossings as well as to access personal electronic equipment.

The company has raised $7 million to date from French-US venture capital fund Partech International and Aladdin Knowledge Systems, now a unit of Safenet and formerly controlled by Yanki Margolit. Aladdin has worked together with IDesia on one of its products.

IDesia's chairman is Gidi Barak who has previously sold two companies to Intel: Envara in 2004 for $40 million and DSPC, which was sold to Intel in 1999 for $1.6 billion.

Last year Intel acquired Telmap, an Israeli location-based services company, for $300 million. Telmap became part of Intel’s consumer services division.

The Intel division acquiring the product is the Perceptual Computing Division, which is coordinated by Intel VP and Israel president Mooly Eden. This division strives to improve the user experience but it is not yet clear what Intel will do with IDesia's technology.

Lange told "Globes," "I think that the main investors in the company are satisfied with the deal. It's not the exit of the century but it might reward all those involved by more in the future."

Lange will serve as a consultant to Intel as the product is integrated in the coming months. He added, "Identification on the basis of heartbeat is not a biometric measurement recognized by any government body, we concentrated in recent years on sales in the consumer products sector and in this field large capital is needed to penetrate markets, and in Israel it is difficult to raise capital for an end-use electronic product.

Idesia has 14 employees of which 10 are in Israel.

Lange said, "I would be happier if the company had not had to be sold because in my opinion it has great potential. But as an entrepreneur the most important thing is that the technology will be brought to market, and it looks like Intel is the company that can ensure that."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 2, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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