Intel is serious about virtual reality, acquires vision chip maker Movidius

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Movidius is a California-based chipset maker responsible for developing chipsets that enable users to interact with their surroundings. And Intel has just bought them.

Why is Movidius so special? Well, because Google’s new Tango has been majorly possible only because of Movidius. Movidius is going to be powering the first generation of Android devices which will support Tango. Intel’s acquisition of the chipmaker means they are in the running to create some waves in the realm of augmented reality.

How much Intel has bought Movidius for hasn’t been disclosed yet, but it is apparent that Intel is trying on new functionalities for its processors – which could potentially boost graphical capabilities as well as system-wide interaction.

Movidius has raked in some good coverage for its technology. Using an array of cameras and sensors, it is able to map out the dimensions of a physical landscape and allow users to interact with virtual objects in that landscape. This is for Project Tango. Movidius has also applied the same application to drones, making them self-aware so they can avoid crashes. This was demonstrated with DJI’s Phantom 4 Drone which was able to avoid obstacles.

Movidius’s CEO Remi El-Ouazzane says that he wants to merge his company’s excellence in on-device hardware with Intel’s cloud-computing and Artificial Intelligence. The best part is Intel won’t be completely taking over the progress of Movidius . The 180-some employees of the firm will be well integrated into Intel’s Perceptual Computing group.

This move will work to Intel’s favour and will fuel their RealSense technology that incorporates VR. In order to push their project further, they even had acquired another similar company called Itseez, back in May.

Intel has high hopes for Computer Vision which they say is the future of computing. And Intel wants to penetrate the Augmented Reality market, the Virtual Reality market and the Merged Reality market to cater to drones, robotics, security cameras and every other device that could be useful in applying this concept.

Seems like Intel wants to dominate the alternate reality markets, making not only the chipsets that power their devices, but also the software and the development behind it. Having a serious contender matching what is available on the market right now, it will be possible to see a slew of new tech coming up next year, courtesy of Intel.

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