Thomson SA continues the convergence trend between IT and consumer electronics with the news that it is to acquire Gyration Inc, a leading provider of advanced user interface devices. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, were not disclosed.
Gyration, which had sales of $14m in 2003, was founded back in 1989 and is privately held. Its flagship products include state-of-the-art wireless RF controllers, mice, keyboards, and motion-sensing devices.
What makes this so unique is that Gyration has developed and patented a unique method by which an inertial sensor detects natural hand motions to move a cursor or graphic on a television screen or monitor. This allows the Saratoga, California-based company to offer a wireless mouse, with inbuilt gyroscope technology. The user can use the mouse on a desk, or in the air.
Thomson will use Gyration’s gyroscope technology within its own business, notably for remote controls for its set-top box and accessories activities. This will allow consumers to use a Thomson remote control to pilot a pointer across a screen, without having to use the usual hard surface that nearly all computer mice still require.
The acquisition bears similarities to one in May when Logitech International SA, one of the world’s largest makers of mice and keyboards, purchased Intrigue Technologies Inc for $29m in cash. Logitech was after Intrigue’s advanced remote control technology, which allows a user to utilize a single device to control digital TVs, DVD players, home theater systems, VCRs and HiFis, as well as PCs.