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Tessera buys camera detection software firm

Electronics miniaturization firm will pay up to $39 million to broaden its sales options with software to automate camera tasks.

LAS VEGAS--Tessera Technologies has agreed to acquire FotoNation, a start-up that sells software cameras can use for tasks such as detecting and tracking faces, fixing flash-induced red-eye, and triggering the shutter only when subjects are smiling and not blinking.

Tessera, a San Jose, Calif.-based electronics miniaturization company, will pay $29 million in net cash and another $10 million if specific milestones within the next year are met.

The companies announced the deal Thursday during the Photo Marketing Association trade show here.

FotoNation, based in Burlingame, Calif., has 80 employees. Its software is used in more than two-thirds of digital cameras sold today, the company said.