General Catalyst Leads Seed Round in 6D.ai to Bring the AR Cloud into Reality

29th March 2018

6D.ai platform uses the built-in smartphone camera to crowdsource real-time, three-dimensional semantic maps of the world.

San Francisco, March 30, 2018 — 6D.ai, developer of APIs for engaging AR apps across all platforms, announced today its equity seed round led by General Catalyst with GC’s managing director Niko Bonatsos, joining its board of directors. Oxford Sciences Innovation Plc is also participating in the round as well as top investors in augmented reality including: Amit Mahajan from Presence Capital, Ryan Walsh from Floodgate, Ori Inbar from Super Ventures, Jacob Mullins from Shasta Ventures; Greg Castle, founder and GP of Anorak Ventures; Jeff Seibert, Wayne Chang, Robert del Naja, Joe Kraus; among others.

The 6D.ai API generates a 3D mesh of the world where AR content assets are persistent, responsive to occlusion, and efficiently synced between multiple users to help developers create engaging, useful and exciting apps that truly interact with the physical world. For example, instead of an object limited to a table top indoors, characters can interact with the outside world by hiding behind a city building and popping out for someone or sitting at a bus stop and moving into the map when someone needs travel information. Since they can be seen by multiple phones at the same time, people could surround characters and catch them together as a group. With these new features, digital content starts to behave as if it is really part of the three dimensional real world.

“AR represents the ultimate display. It is the closest we can get to blurring the perceived distinction between digital and physical objects,” said Matt Miesnieks, co-founder and CEO of 6D.ai. “The ability for AR to be the interface to all other new technical breakthroughs, to literally and metaphorically change how we see the world and each other, is profound. We deeply understand the problems preventing AR App engagement and are solving those hard problems on behalf of all AR developers. With the full commitment from General Catalyst and Niko, we are rapidly growing our team and continuing toward our mission to build the defining AR company.”

“We’re witnessing a breakthrough in both hardware and software AR technology where people will experience apps in ways that are not only exciting and fun, but also informative and useful,” said Niko Bonatsos, managing director at General Catalyst. “Much like the wave of innovation in new applications that we saw when the first smartphones came out, 6D.ai is making the platform for developers to create the AR experiences they have been imagining.”

Co-founded by Matt Miesnieks and Professor Victor Prisacariu, the company is the first software spin out of Oxford University’s Active Vision Lab to launch in Silicon Valley. The company is growing its team of leaders in augmented reality, computer vision, and large scale infrastructure to create the AR Cloud including Jeff McConathy (ex VP Eng Trulia), Bruce Wooden (Founder SVVR & Altspace) and alumni from Tesla, Samsung and Facebook. As an Oxford spinout company, 6D.ai has the full support of the University and its research activities. This combination of world-recognised leaders in AR and access to ongoing world-renowned research, means 6D.ai, uniquely among AR startups, can solve the most difficult technical problems for developers and bring them to market at startup speed.

How it works:

  • The 6D.ai API uses a standard built-in smartphone camera to build a real-time, three-dimensional semantic, crowd sourced maps of the world, all in the background. No depth camera is needed to capture the world in 3D.
  • Using the 3D mesh generated by the 6D.ai API, developers build world-scale apps where assets are persistent, responsive to occlusion, and synced between multiple users more efficiently.
  • Spatial computing apps that were only possible to build on expensive Head Mounted Displays are now possible on ARCore and ARKit smartphones.
  • 3D spatial data provides the foundation for 6D.ai AI neural-networks to help developers’ applications understand the world in 3D.

The limited beta program kicks-off today for developers to begin creating multi-player, phone-based AR applications that interact with the real world. OEMs, Enterprises, gaming companies and artists can partner with 6D.ai to build AR projects that extend their ecosystems with new feature sets, across hardware platforms and into previously challenging markets for AR platform development.

ENDS

Note from OUI: This press release was prepared by 6D.ai, and issued without alteration. For reference, 6D.ai is Oxford University’s 150th spinout company, and the first company Oxford University has founded in the US.

6D.ai is hiring computer vision and core mobile engineers. Check out openings here.

Get started with the beta and stay in touch on updates, here.

About 6D.ai

Founded in November 2017, 6D.ai is a seed-stage startup emerging from Oxford University’s Active Vision Lab, building APIs to help developers build engaging augmented reality apps in the ways that users would find meaningful, useful and exciting. The Oxford Active Vision Lab has been specializing in augmented reality since 1995 bringing 23 years of research and invention to the AR industry, including creating SLAM on mobile phones back in 2007. Led by Matt Miesnieks and Professor Victor Prisacariu with Niko Bonatsos as a board member, the company has seed stage investments from General Catalyst, Oxford Sciences Innovation Plc and the top angel investors in augmented reality. To learn more visit, 6D.ai.

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