Computer vision specialists Scape Technologies snapped up by Facebook

Clifton Dawson, Principal Analyst Augmented Reality, Augmented Reality Intelligence Service, Devices & Technology, Insight Articles

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Facebook, the Menlo Park, CA-based social media and technology giant and parent company of Oculus, announced this week that it is acquiring UK-based company Scape Technologies Ltd. (Scape) in a deal valued at $40 million. Scape is a computer vision startup, building the localization engine for city-scale augmented reality.

About Facebook's Augmented Reality Ambitions

Facebook research teams have made extremely significant progress in computer vision technologies. The company has leveraged some of its research to enhance both its burgeoning hardware practice (with products such as Oculus Quest and Facebook Portal), and its position in the contentious mobile AR market, alongside established competitors like Snapchat and newcomers such as Microsoft. Facebook’s expertise in computer vision has come about as a result of a long history of investments in personnel and intellectual properties, including dozens of strategic acquisitions over the last decade (see chart below).

The company’s interest in acquiring computer vision technologies is consistent with its long-term business goals, and as a result, is quite well-positioned in 2019 to serve as a foundational pillar of the augmented reality market over the next decade.

About Scape Technologies

Scape was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in London, England. Scape's cloud-based ‘visual engine’ allows camera devices to understand their environment, using computer vision. Rather than relying on 3D maps built and stored locally, Scape’s vision engine builds and references 3D maps in the cloud, allowing devices to tap into a ‘shared understanding’ of an environment. Scape had raised a total of $8 million from venture capital firms and angel investors.

Facebook's XR Acquisition History

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