Research & Innovation

Irish Chip at Heart of Google’s Multi-Billion Dollar Bet on Future of Smartphones

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Irish Chip at Heart of Google’s Multi-Billion Dollar Bet on Future of Smartphones

Irish Chip at Heart of Google’s Multi-Billion Dollar Bet on Future of Smartphones
February 24
15:28 2014

A revolutionary chip designed by Dublin company Movidius lies at the heart of Google’s ‘Project Tango’ smartphone, a 3D-sensing device that maps and learns the world around it.

Last night, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) skunkworks revealed Project Tango, an Android-based 5-inch phone that comes with advanced 3D sensors that can build a visual map of the environment around it using 3D scanning.

At the heart of this breakthrough technology is Myriad 1, the first generation of the Movidius Vision Processor Platform, a new ultra-low power, high-performance and programmable architecture of computational chips, software and development tools that enables a range of devices to intelligently understand and contextualise their surroundings

As part of an agreement with Google, Movidius’ Myriad 1 vision processor platform will power Project Tango.

“Project Tango strives to give mobile devices a human-like understanding of space and motion through advanced sensor fusion and computer vision, enabling new and enhanced types of user experiences – including 3D scanning, indoor navigation and immersive gaming,” said Johnny Lee, technical program lead, Advanced Technology and Projects at Google.

“Movidius has provided a key component towards enabling access to these features in a small mobile platform with a chip designed with visual sensing and battery life in mind. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Movidius as these new applications evolve and new device designs come to market.”

By mapping space and motion in real-time with detailed precision and accuracy, Myriad 1 aims to mirror human vision with a new-found level of depth, clarity and realism on mobile and portable connected devices.

Myriad 1 will serve as the architecture for application developers and device designers looking to power the next wave of intelligent applications that leverage mobile sight and perception for an engaging user experience.

“Google has paved the future direction for smart mobile vision systems and we’re excited to be working with a company that shares our vision to usher in the next wave of applications that fundamentally alter how a mobile device is used to experience the world around us,” said Remi El-Ouazzane, CEO of Movidius.

“Project Tango is truly a groundbreaking platform, and we look forward to seeing the innovation the developer community achieves with unprecedented access to the Movidius Vision Processor.”

Movidius recently raised US$16m in a Series D round involving Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Atlantic Bridge, Capital-E and the AIB Seed Capital Round.

The Dublin company employs 55 people and envisages taking on a further 30 to 35 people to focus on new products in the coming year.

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