Sector: ICT/Digital Category: Exits

Imperial Create Lab team Surreal Vision, founded by PhD students from Imperial College London, has been acquired by Facebook. Surreal Vision, previously known as SLAM++, has developed a groundbreaking AR/VR solution. The team went through Imperial Create Lab’s Venture Catalyst Challenge in 2014 and have since gone on to forge a major contract with one of the world’s largest manufacturers of smart glasses, before being acquired by Facebook, with a view to combining their software with the Oculus Rift.

Surreal Vision enables machines to simultaneously understand, localise and map the physical world in real time. Their patent-pending technology has three core features. Firstly, it can instantly recognise your position in a room and how you are moving. Secondly, it can recognise objects and allow software to interact with them. Finally, it can detect surfaces with unprecedented accuracy, massively expanding the display and interface possibilities of existing technology.

This opens highly significant applications in AR, VR, robotics and 3D mapping. The team includes Renato Salas-Moreno (ex IBM, AMD, PhD, computer vision), Stephen Lovegrove (PhD, Robotic vision) and Richard Newcombe (ex Microsoft, PhD Cognitive Robotics) with advisory support from renowned machine learning experts, Professor Andrew Davison and Professor Paul Kelly.

You can read more about the acquisition in TechCrunch and the Guardian.