Why did Facebook buy this computer vision startup?

We all know that Facebook is always one of the fastest and most innovative technology companies in today’s world, constantly consuming smaller companies. Recently, TechCrunch reported about Facebook buying a new company called Scape Technologies. It is a London-based startup that uses computer vision to determine your precise location beyond the reach of GPS technologies. This was confirmed in a filing by Facebook.

TechCrunch is speculating that Facebook will use this new technology for its Augmented Reality (AR) glasses. The new technology converts images into 3D maps, thereby creating a full 3D visualization of the surroundings nearby – even across various cities. This is made possible by camera devices which query the vision engine by using the company’s “Visual Positioning Service” or VPS for short. This technology is said to be so accurate that it can precisely tell you stores and other places nearby on the street on which you are standing.

Facebook owns approximately 75% of this company and it is estimated that it paid around $40 million for this slice of pie. Two of Facebook’s executives now sit on the board of Scape Technologies after it’s Venture Capitalists (VC) gave up their share.

Scape wants any device fitted with a camera to have a much better understanding of its surroundings. One of the primary uses of this technology is said to be in Augmented Reality. Furthermore, it can also be used to empower applications in mobility, logistics, and robotics. It is assumed that Facebook will use this technology for its Augmented Reality glasses but nothing can be said for now. It could potentially also be used for improving Facebook “check-ins” by determining what location you are at using your surroundings.

Facebook was earlier asked to comment on this by Engadget, and on February 8 the company said, “We acquire smaller tech companies from time to time. We don’t always discuss our plans.”

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