Facebook Buys Israel’s Pebbles for Reported $60m

Pebbles’ technology uses sensors and algorithms to track hand movements, letting users' limbs enter virtual reality.

Inbal Orpaz
Inbal Orpaz
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
The Pebbles team.
The Pebbles team.Credit: Pebbles
Inbal Orpaz
Inbal Orpaz

Facebook has bought another Israeli startup, this time a maker of computer-vision technology called Pebbles Interfaces.

Neither side said how much Facebook paid for the company, but reports put the figure at $60 million. Facebook made the acquisition through its Oculus VR virtual reality division, which it acquired only a year ago for $2 billion and since bought six startups.

“We’re excited to announce that we’ve entered into an agreement to acquire Pebbles Interfaces – one of the leading teams in depth-sensing technology and computer vision,” Oculus said in a blog.

Pebbles’ technology uses custom optics, sensor systems and algorithms to detect and track hand movement. Most importantly, it lets users see their own hands and fingers in their field of virtual reality, which enhances the experiences and promises many more applications for virtual reality platforms.

The Pebbles team will join the hardware engineering and computer vision teams and its interface incorporated into the Oculus Rift headset.

Pebbles, based in Kfar Saba, was founded in 2010 by Nadav Grossinger, its chief technology officer. Its CEO is Emil Alon and its development manager Doron Levit.

Over its five years the company, which employs about 50 people, raised a modest $20 million, but it counts a wide assortment of global investors, including Chinese electronics company Xiomi; Israeli venture capital fund Giza; Sandisk, the U.S. maker of flash memory drives; Germany’s Robert Bosch Venture Capital; and Hong Kong’s iNetworks 360.

Facebook has bought a string of Israel startups and since 2013 has been operating an Israeli research and development center.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott