PTC has bought Qualcomm’s Vuforia augmented reality (AR) platform for $65m and intends to integrate it into its Internet of Things (IoT) activities, including its ThingWorx platform. The deal comes as Qualcomm shifts its focus back onto core activities, but also represents a new direction for computer vision technology: convergence with IoT.
Vuforia is one of the largest AR platforms, with a global developer ecosystem spanning 130 countries and powering 20,000 apps. PTC has acquired this ecosystem as part of the deal and will look to integrate it with its IoT and analytics platforms to enable new ways to create, monitor, and control connected products. The company has noted that IoT is trending toward products that consist of both digital and physical content; Vuforia will be instrumental in powering the technology to visualize this content.
The AR sector is undergoing notable changes, both with this acquisition and Apple’s purchase of the second-largest AR platform, Metaio, in May 2015. At the time, Ovum noted that Metaio’s technology could help Apple implement new functions for its devices, such as controlling connected homes or cars and creating interfaces for smart eyewear.
Qualcomm sold Vuforia because it intends to focus on its core mobile business; under PTC Vuforia will be well positioned to fulfil its potential in the IoT sector.
Augmented Reality: Edging Toward Mass Awareness, TE0001-000888 (October 2014)
“Apple buys Metaio for foothold in computer vision,” TE0004-001029 (June 2015)
Francesco Radicati, Senior Analyst, Digital Services
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