Qualcomm Sells Vuforia For $65M: What Are PTC's Plans For The Augmented Reality Unit?


Chip-maker Qualcomm has sold its subsidiary Vuforia, the augmented reality (AR) unit, to PTC which provides a worldwide platform for technology and solutions for $65 million.

On Monday, Oct. 12, Qualcomm revealed that it had sold the 5-year-old unit to software firm PTC. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year. The exact terms of the transaction are not known.

PTC envisions utilizing Vuforia's capabilities on its Internet of Things (IoT) application software.

"PTC continues to pursue a strategy of providing an incredibly innovative technology platform that customers can use to capitalize on the emerging Internet of Things (IoT)," stated Jim Heppelmann, PTC's CEO. "Because of what IoT is enabling, more and more products are now a mixture of digital and part physical content. So, naturally, the ways in which we interact with these products will evolve toward a mixed-reality model that blends physical and digital interactions. "

For the unfamiliar, Vuforia is among the cutting-edge platforms for AR technology. The platform enables apps to not only view, but also connect the physical realm with digital experiences, which propel audience engagement, need attention and offer customers value. The unit has developers in nearly 130 countries and Vuforia is responsible for powering over 20,000 apps.

The AR technology from Qualcomm deploys mobile cameras to identify tags in its field of view. Once identified, the digital object can pop-up on the display and is able to interact with backgrounds in the real world.

The acquisition will not only give a fillip to PTC's existing portfolio, but aid in augmenting the company's strategy as the foremost technology and solutions provider who can effectively merge the physical and digital realms seamlessly.

Per the terms of the transaction, PTC is also set to acquire the developer ecosystem along with Vuforia. It is believed, that PTC will extend employment offer to all existing employees of Vuforia. However, Qualcomm has not divulged how many workers will shift to PTC as part of the deal.

Qualcomm selling the AR unit is reflective of the fact that the chip-maker is looking to streamline its business and focus primarily on the wireless and mobile chip technology in the to take advantage of the growing smartphone space.

Photo: Karlis Dambrans | Flickr 

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