Streem, a Portland-based company that aims to use augmented reality to help people and companies communicate better, has acquired a computer vision startup and brought in some new funding.
Streem acquired Selerio, a computer vision startup based in the U.K. that spun out of research from the University of Cambridge and a Google fellowship, to build what it calls “smart AR.” The technology allows the smartphone camera to create 3D maps of what it’s looking at and recognize objects.
Streem started with home improvement technology but has since broadened out to focus more on communication and collaboration across a variety of areas. One of the company’s primary goals to leverage smartphone cameras and augmented reality to simplify customer service.
“We’ve long said our platform is defined by three key pillars: remote video collaboration, simple augmented reality tools, and, most importantly, contextual data,” said Streem CEO Ryan Fink. “Selerio dramatically advances our third pillar and enables experts, for the first time, to be able to capture information as good – if not better – than if they were on site. This creates massive convenience and value for both the customer, who no longer needs to have a stranger in their home, and for the expert, by eliminating the need to roll a truck. This positions Streem to be one of the world’s leading AR companies.”
Streem did not disclose terms of the acquisition, nor would it say how much it raised in a recent funding round that included new and existing investors. The company last raised money back in December, bringing in $6.8 million as part of a larger round of undisclosed size.
Virtual and augmented reality have yet to catch on with mainstream consumers as much as originally expected. But games like Pokémon Go and the upcoming Minecraft Earth are taking advantage of the technology and getting people more comfortable with it.
Businesses are also looking to harness it, through hardware such as the newest version of Google Glass, as well as software platforms like Streem’s. The company recently released software development kits for Android and iOS for businesses to take advantage of and customize the technology.
With the acquisition, Streem is up to more than 20 employees. It is led by Fink, who has founded and worked for several AR startups in the past.