Facebook reportedly acquires computer vision startup Scape Technologies
Facebook Inc. reportedly has acquired London computer vision startup Scape Technologies Ltd. in an obvious move to create out its augmented reality capabilities.
The price of the deal wasn't disclosed, but TechCrunch reported early Saturday that it could are about $40 million.
Founded in 2016, Scape has built a localization engine that's designed for city-scale augmented reality. employing a cloud-based “Visual Engine,” the technology can build and reference 3D maps within the cloud, allowing devices to tap into a unified perception of the globe around them.
The technology doesn't think about GPS, instead using what it calls a “Visual Positioning Service” to work out the precise location of visual services. In doing so, the technology is claimed to realize higher scalability and performance versus other approaches.
“Most 3D reconstruction pipelines are limited by the memory constraints of a given machine,” the corporate says on its website. “Our Vision Engine is different, horizontally scaling to 100s of servers on demand, to support areas the scale of entire cities.”
The service is merely available in London, though the corporate originally had plans to roll it bent other cities before its acquisition by Facebook.
The technology was primarily designed to help augmented reality apps, but it also has applications in mobility, logistics and robotics, pertaining to areas like mapping and even autonomous vehicles.
Facebook neither confirmed not denied the acquisition, saying only that “we acquire smaller tech companies from time to time” which they “don’t always discuss our plans.”
The obvious application for the technology would be for Facebook’s Oculus division, although it's going to extend further. The social networking giant launched an augmented reality platform to the general public in 2017 and was reported in September to be working with Luxottica Group SpA on AR glasses.
Facebook has also dabbled with AR through its core Facebook app within the past, debuting AR-enabled advertising in 2018.
Scape had raised $8 million in risk capital funding, consistent with Crunchbase. Investors included LocalGlobe, Fly Ventures, Mosaic Ventures and Entrepreneur First.