Chinese internet search engine giant, Baidu Inc has agreed to acquire U.S. based computer vision startup xPerception for an undisclosed amount, to support their renewed efforts in artificial intelligence as Chinese tech firms face regulatory headwinds in U.S.
xPerception was founded in 2016 by two ex-Magic Leap engineers, Bao Yingze and Chen Mingyu. The company focuses on making vision perception software and hardware with applications in robotics and virtual reality. It also shows interest in developing devices for people who are visually impaired.
The Chinese firm stated that after acquisition also the company will continue to develop their core technology under Baidu’s research unit. Further adding to that, it said:
The acquisition of xPerception is the latest in a recent series of notable investments aimed at strengthening Baidu’s position as a global leader in AI
Bao and Chen has built a camera that’s capable of creating a visual map of the objects around it. The company hasn’t publicly demonstrated the camera, or said if they’ve raised venture capital. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
A visual perception camera is useful for robots trying to follow a person on a crowded sidewalk, or while navigating their way through a new environment. It could also be useful for augmented reality glasses, which recognize real objects and interact with them digitally.
Baidu, which is often referred to as the “Google of China,”. It was reported that the company will add Bao and Chen to its Silicon Valley-based research team, which is working on artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies.
The company has been noted to double down on its AI (Artificial Intelligence) research efforts over the past few years. Earlier this year, it opened an AR (Augmented Reality) lab and announced its acquisition of voice-assistant startup Raven Tech. It also is helping the Chinese government build a national AI lab.
Baidu says xPerception will help the firm to develop visual perception technology for their augmented reality projects and autonomous driving unit.