According to regulatory filings uncovered by Tech Crunch, Facebook has acquired Scape Technologies, a London-based computer vision startup.
Facebook has yet to publicly acknowledge the acquisition. A company spokesperson told Tech Crunch that it “acquire[s] smaller tech companies from time to time. We don’t always discuss our plans.”
Details are still thin, however UK registrar Companies House filings reveals that Facebook now controls 75 percent or more of the company’s shares. Companies House filings also show that a number of the company’s directors have stepped down, and have been subsequently replaced with Facebook executives.
Founded in 2016, Scape Technolognies is building a computer vision-based positioning system called Vision Engine that it says “can be used to precisely determine the location of any camera device, with more accuracy than GPS, and are automatically updated to reflect changes in the environment.” The company says it can do this with what it calls “low-quality imagery.”
The company’s multi-platform SDK for augmented reality, ScapeKit, was publicly demonstrated at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas last year to show off the capabilities of 5G-enabled augmented reality.
Scape’s tech is targeting smartphone-based AR use cases currently, although robust computer vision is a fundamental technology for the ‘all-day’ AR headsets of the future.
Facebook has admitted in the past that its currently developing an AR headset and has plans to build out its digital copy of the physical world, or something it calls ‘LiveMaps’, a real-time-updated map created using crowdsource-driven data from connected devices.