Industry consortium the Embedded Vision Alliance has launched a new accelerator program to help product teams and innovation centers that are working on computer vision products. Announced at its 2017 Embedded Vision Summit in Santa Clara, California, the Vision Accelerator Program comes as investments in computer vision are growing and as the technology converges with other innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Vision Accelerator Program is designed to provide expert guidance on how to reduce development times and costs, including in areas such as 3D sensing and deep learning. It will only be open to the Alliance's 60+ members, which include vision companies, camera OEMs, and hardware vendors such as Huawei, Intel, and Qualcomm. The program charges different fees for start-ups or individual product teams compared to innovation centers or multiple product teams and offers access to expert guidance and Alliance events as well as introductions to M&A and venture groups for start-ups.
The announcement comes on the heels of several high-profile acquisitions in the computer vision segment, notably Intel's purchase of Israeli company Mobileye in March 2017 for over $15bn. The acquisition of Mobileye was intended to boost Intel's computer vision strategy, particularly in the field of connected and autonomous cars given Mobileye's track record of building autonomous systems for auto OEMs. According to Ovum's IoT Investments Tracker: 2H16, Intel has made the most acquisitions in the area of connected and autonomous cars, while Ovum's VR Tracker: 1Q17 lists 12 deals by Intel, of which five were acquisitions and seven were investment rounds by its corporate venture fund Intel Capital.
These trends are in line with those presented at the summit by Dr. Rudolph Burger from the venture firm Woodside Capital. The largest volume markets, Burger said, will be security and surveillance devices, consumer mobiles, and automotives, all of which will present large markets for start-ups to disrupt. Burger also pointed to what he called a coming wave of 3D-sensing smartphones that will enter the market later in 2017, creating a fertile environment for new apps and use cases.
VR Tracker: 1Q17, ME0002-000756 (April 2017)
IoT Investments Tracker: 2H16, TE0019-000024 (December 2016)
"Intel goes deeper on autonomous cars with Mobileye acquisition," TE0004-001153 (March 2017)
Francesco Radicati, Senior Analyst, Consumer Technology
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