For a while now, London-based Scape technologies has been developing a new and improved GPS, transcending the functionalities and limitations of the GPS that we have now. And looks like Scape’s efforts have caught the eye of folks at Facebook. In recent developments, Facebook has acquired Scape technologies, according to company’s regulatory filing. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed yet, although a Companies House update says that Facebook now owns a majority stake(~75%) in the company, thus having full control on order of operations.
Even though the terms are still under wraps, media reports suspect that the deal could be worth $40 million. The acquisition has resulted in the resignations of Scape’s previous venture capital representatives on the board, who have now been replaced by two Facebook executives.
Scape has been developing a visual positioning service, which will allow developers to build apps that require location access far more extensive than the one GPS can provide. Initially targeted for augmented apps, Scape later went on a mission to bring the technology to any device with a camera to understand its surroundings.
Edward Miller, Scape’s CEO and co founder CEO described Visual Engine as a “large-scale mapping pipeline that creates 3D maps from ordinary images and video”. Then, the camera app can make queries to the Visual Engine using the startup’s Visual Positioning Service API to determine their exact location with far greater precision than GPS can ever provide.
So far, the Visual Positioning Service has been made available for select developers by Scape’s SDK.
The London based startup can benefit greatly from this takeover, which has made major strides in the fields of VR and AR, which can house Visual Positioning Service for a real life test.