Facebook has been acquiring startups to help build its AI capabilities. Recently, the social media company purchased Scape Technologies. It is a British company that utilizes computer vision. It offers an accurate location for augmented reality.
The estimated acquisition price could be around $40 million. The startup is not just another AR company. Rather, its technology creates a 1:1 digital representation of the world. In that case, it is more like a mapping company than an augmented reality startup.
The goal of its technology is to many any place capable of providing AR content. The challenge here is how precise the location is. Thus, the company created 3D renderings of the world. Its location precision does not depend on cell-tower triangulation or GPS. Rather, it claims to offer a visual-based positioning service.
“Our technology provides centimeter-level location recognition at a previously unprecedented scale.”
According to Scape, GPS is not sufficiently accurate. With Scape, it offers a “new category of a map designed from the ground up for machines, allowing devices to precisely determine where they are and what’s around them, using only a camera.”
This technology was partly inspired by the Pokemon Go, which was created by Niantic Labs. The founder of Niantic, John Hanke, worked for Google’s mapping and local products for many years.
Google is also working on a similar project. That is, it maps the entire globe digitally. But Scape does not utilize enormous resources to map the globe. Rather, it created 3D renderings.
Through Scape technology, AR content can be easily pinned to an accurate location, object or building. There are various applications for this technology.
It is not only useful in digital gaming but it is also beneficial for architecture, location, tourism, and other areas. It can locate users with a precise location that is different from AR content. But pretty sure, Facebook will face scrutiny on how it will utilize Scape’s technology.
Facebook may utilize this technology to build more AR experiences for its website. It may also use it for offline attribution. Furthermore, the company may create new local search apps.
In addition to Scape, Facebook also acquired Deeptide Ltd. It is the same company that founded Atlas ML, which is the free resource for machine learning code and papers. Facebook is now the majority owner of Deeptide.
Facebook did not announce the terms of the deal or the acquisition itself. However, the price for the acquisition was said to be around $40 million. This technology allows an easy way to find and apply deep learning research.
The value of AR is to augment your experience. It can visualize digital content. With AR, you can see digital objects that are placed on top of the real world. Although there are many risks associated with AR, the promise of it is not unsettling. Rather, it offers existing things to many aspects of life.
AR is still a rapidly developing technology. It offers unlimited possibilities to companies. It can help solve a lot of problems that cropped up because of mass media.
We are excited to discover how Facebook will use Scape’s technology.