Intel today announced its plans to acquire the chip manufacturer Movidius that focuses on developing integrated system-on-chip solutions for both machine learning and computer vision.
Movidius has already made a name for itself by developing compact chips that are already being used in DJI's Phantom 4 drones. The company has also worked with Lenovo in the past and a dedicated VR headset using its chips was quite close to being released earlier this year.
At the Intel Developer Forum in August, Intel revealed its plan to develop Project Alloy, a fully cordless VR headset that utilises depth-sensing cameras. The headset is still in development with plans for it to be released at the earliest in mid-2017. Acquiring Movidius and its chips could very well give Intel a leg up on the competition when it comes to powering the technology that will make Project Alloy possible.
The combination of Intel's depth-sensing cameras and Mobvius' low power machine-learning hardware could result in the creation of small devices capable of taking advantage of advanced augmented reality. The merger of these two technologies could also result in a number of advancements in self-navigating drones, robots or even cars.
The Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel's New Technology Group, Josh Walden offered insight into Intel's plans for Movidius' technology in a company blog post, saying: “we will look to deploy the technology across our efforts in augmented, virtual and merged reality, drones, robotics, digital security cameras and beyond.”
Movidius' CEO Remi El-Ouazzane was also enthusiastic about what could be accomplished through the combination of the company's tech and Intel's, saying: “our leading VPU (Vision Processing Unit) platform for on-device vision processing combined with Intel's industry leading depth sensing solution (Intel RealSense technology) is a winning combination for autonomous machines that can see in 3D, understand their surroundings and navigate accordingly.”
The acquisition is still pending at this point but it seems that Intel and Movidius are eager to see what could be accomplished through a combination of their technologies.
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