Intel Diving Deeper Into IoT And Self-Driving Cars With Itseez Computer Vision Startup Acquisition


Intel has a plan to become increasingly relevant in the Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous car market, so it took over Itseez, a startup that specializes in computer vision and machine learning.

No official information is available regarding the financial details of the transaction.

Itseez started out in San Francisco in 2005 and gained expertise in computer vision algorithms and software. Its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) consist of a series of auto algorithms that make sure the car hardware detects and interprets the visual information correctly. Such information could be anything from traffic lights or signs to pedestrians, stray dogs or balls rolling in the middle of the street.

This is not the first time Intel expands its portfolio with IoT-related technology. In April, Intel purchased Yogitech, an Italian company that develops safety measures for semiconductors. Simply put, Yogitech ensures the proper operation of chips that help autonomous vehicles do their magic.

In 2015, Intel purchased Lantiq, a company that builds chips used in smart objects.

Intel is already involved in manufacturing software, a development kit and chips that fit autonomous vehicles.

Doug Davis, Intel's senior vice president and general manager of its IoT group, commented on the decision.

"Itseez [...] will help Intel's customers create innovative deep-learning-based [computer vision] applications," Davis said.

He added that Itseez has a wide array of algorithms that allow the development of features for surveillance, robotics, sports analytics and smartphones.

Intel is building momentum for a strategic shift, as the company wants to grow beyond being a simple PC chip maker and evolve toward cloud computing, IoT technologies and deep data analysis.

According to the company, 40 percent of its revenue comes from its IoT department and data center, which are also the main growth engines. The global PC market has been dwindling in the past years, so a market repositioning is more than welcome for big tech ventures.

However, the change in focus is not rosy for everyone. In April, the OEM announced that it will axe 12,000 jobs, totaling 11 percent of its employees.

"These are not changes I take lightly. We are saying goodbye to colleagues who have played an important role in Intel's success," wrote Brian Krzanich, Intel's chief executive, in an announcement.

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