Facebook acquires '3D mapping' startup Scape Technologies

Mark Zuckerberg in front of the Facebook logo
Mark Zuckerberg in front of the Facebook logo (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Facebook has acquired Scape Technologies, a London-based computer vision startup.
  • The company has been working on a "Visual Positioning Service" called Vision Engine, which makes it possible to precisely determine the location of a device.
  • Scape's "Vision Engine" could be a good fit for Facebook's next-generation AR platform.

A regulatory filing discovered by the folks over at TechCrunch has revealed that Facebook has acquired Scape Technologies, which is a London-based computer vision startup that has been working on "location accuracy beyond the capabilities of GPS" since it was founded in 2017.

While full terms of the deal haven't been made public yet, Facebook has confirmed the acquisition and sent the following statement to TechCrunch:

We acquire smaller tech companies from time to time. We don't always discuss our plans

Scape's cloud-based "Visual Positioning Service" is based on computer vision and lets any device with a camera create 3D maps from regular photos and videos. These 3D maps will provide developers the device's exact location with much higher precision than GPS is capable of. So far, Scape has only made its Visual Positioning Service available to a few developers via its SDK.

Even though Facebook hasn't revealed exactly how it plans to use Scape's Visual Positioning Service, it could possibly be leveraged for the social networking giant's upcoming AR glasses. As confirmed by the company at the Oculus Connect developer conference in September last year, it is also working on creating "3D maps" of the world called LiveMaps.

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Babu Mohan
News Writer