It starts with pixels

Announcing our first major investment

without comments

Today we’re announcing that we just raised 7M in Series A led by Foundry Group, representing the first major investment in Occipital.

Over the last year, what we’ve launched publicly is 360 Panorama – a popular app which lets you capture panoramas in seconds and share them as interactive 360 views. But what you might not know is that 360 Panorama is just the tip of the iceberg.

Your smartphone’s computational reach into its surroundings ends at its touchscreen surface. To your device, the real world isn’t a canvas of interactivity. Instead, it’s little more than a grid of pixels that might as well be random. We’re changing that. We’re using computer vision to make real world environments computationally interactive and fun, thereby extending the computational reach of your device into the visual space around you.

This concept is bigger than Occipital can handle alone, so we’re launching a platform that other developers can leverage. We’ll take care of the computer vision, allowing developers to focus on creating new experiences.

We’re also announcing new additions to our board of directors – Jason Mendelson and Brad Feld of Foundry Group, Manu Kumar of K9 Ventures and Gary Bradski of Willow Garage.

We’ve known Jason and Brad since 2008 when we joined TechStars. We’ve experienced first-hand their open and engaged approach to helping entrepreneurs. Jason, Brad, and the whole Foundry team, are awesome, and as part of their HCI theme, they share our belief that computer vision will fundamentally change the way we interact with our surroundings.

Dr. Manu Kumar is a successful entrepreneur, founder of K9 Ventures, and has a PhD from Stanford in eye-tracking HCI. We can’t overstate how helpful he has been since we met him three years ago. It’s about time we figured out how to work together officially.

Dr. Gary Bradski is the creator of OpenCV – a computer vision library used by thousands of computer vision researchers and engineers around the world. These days he’s Senior Scientist at Willow Garage where he works on advancing the state of robot vision. Gary agrees that we’re on the cusp of something huge in mobile computer vision and he significantly expands the technical gravity of our board of directors.

Welcome, everyone, to the Occipital team.

It’s going to be a wild ride – and where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

Written by jeff

August 10th, 2011 at 8:51 am