Alibaba has acquired Infinity Augmented Reality after it invested US$15 million in the firm in November 2016
The company says the technology can turn AR glasses into a powerful content augmentation platform. Infinity Augmented Realty CEO and co-founder Motti Kushnir said it would join Alibaba’s Israel Machine Vision Laboratory, the deal’s term not disclosed. Israeli business daily Globes said Alibaba paid more than US$10 million, citing market sources.
“Alibaba’s expertise in turning technologies into next-generation products will be a great platform for the future technologies of computer vision, AR and AI,” said Motti Kushnir.
Alibaba believed that VR and AR could grow its business, premiering the VR and AR shopping platform Buy+ in November 2016. However, the platform remained eerily quiet even 1 year later, with only an AR game featured, Forbes reported.
Infinity AR’s CEO Kushnir said in an interview last year; the company is working on AR glasses for industrial workplaces, in collaboration with a company called Fieldbit, which provides an end-to-end, interactive field service collaboration platform for equipment manufacturers and users. The glasses transmit live video and experts can immediately respond to workers who need operational guidance even when they are not on-site.
Kushnir confirmed in the interview that the company, which can be categorized as an AR operating system provider, isn’t planning to launch self-branded smart glasses but offers tailored hardware-to-software solutions to enterprises in need of such devices.