Facebook has acquired the patents of now-defunct mixed reality startup Daqri to ward off any potential legal challenges in the future. The AR hardware manufacturer was founded back in 2010, but it went bankrupt at the end of 2019 after burning more than $300 million from investors.
The startup had planned to produce augmented reality glasses and helmets for enterprise buyers. The devices would have protected the workers by superimposing helpful information and instructions onto their field of vision. During the company’s initial days, augmented reality hadn’t grown into the popular technology that it is today. However, the bankruptcy came as a surprise as the company seemed to be doing quite well with its B2B strategy.
Post the bankruptcy, several of the company’s assets have been auctioned off, and data from the US Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, suggests that Facebook has been a frontrunner for amassing their patents since then. Reportedly, more than a hundred patents and patent applications for AR-related technologies ranging from holographic lenses to software kits for developers have been taken over by the social media giant.
The company selling Daqri’s patent portfolio had stated that the patented technologies could serve as a basis for developing and commercializing world-class AR solutions. The said technologies were described to have wide-ranging enterprise applications and provide unparalleled progressive opportunities to the buyer.
Nevertheless, from Facebook’s point of view, this seems more of a defensive acquisition unlikely to have any significant impact on the company’s AR plans forward. Therefore, it should be considered a legal safeguard as patent trolls and even serious organizations or people could sue the company for massive sums of money for patent infringements. Therefore, it’s better for the tech giant to control the patents rather than let them fall into the wrong hands.
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