The Chinese tech giant, Tencent, has been actively investing in augmented reality-based companies of late.
As per a Sky News report, Tencent’s venture capital arm, Image Frame Investment, is investing approximately $50 million into UK-based Ultraleap at a valuation of nearly $240 million.
Ultraleap supplies sensors and software for gesture recognition and touch-free haptic feedback. The pandemic has led to a substantial increase in the company’s technology, with a rising need for interfaces that work without touching to help curb the virus’s spread. The company had recently established a partnership to feature its TouchFree system with computers from Simply NUC.
“We’ve worked hard to get the TouchFree application to market to meet the increasing demand for touchless interaction,” stated Saurabh Gupta, director of OOH product at Ultraleap.
The same technology can be applied to AR headsets, smart glasses, and similar applications as these rely on gestures as a form of user input. The Varjo XR-3 headset and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 reference design already feature Ultraleap’s Gemini software.
Tencent had recently picked up a substantial amount of Snapchat parent Snap, Inc. and participated in funding rounds for Epic Games and Meta Company. In addition, it also made an indirect investment into Nreal through Kuaishou, a Tencent-backed video startup.
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