After closing its office last year, enterprise AR company Daqri has moved on to the final stage of its lifecycle with the liquidation of its assets.
Hilco Streambank, who also administered the patent sale of former smartglasses maker Osterholt Design Group (ODG), and Rock Creek Advisors will handle the sale of Daqri's patent portfolio.
Up for auction are more than 175 patents, including 97 granted utility patents, 30 granted design patents, 51 pending utility patents, and one pending design patent. The patents cover a wide swath of AR technology, including display technology, content generation, user input, design of wearables and controllers, AR applications, computer vision, brain control interfaces, eye tracking, and more. Also, more than 175 trademarks, registered across 65 countries, and domain names, including daqri.com, are on the auction block.
The sellers will consider offers to sell or license the full portfolio or parts of it. The deadline for offers is March 31, 2020. Interested parties can contact representatives of Hilco Streambank or Rock Creek Advisors, as listed on the auction's webpage.
"DAQRI developed a portfolio of patented technology that served as the foundation for the creation and commercialization of world-class AR solutions for a wide range of business and logistics obstacles," remarked Jim Gansman, managing director of Rock Creek Advisors, in a statement. He added, "Controlling this portfolio has the potential to put a buyer at the top of the AR industry and provides an unmatched opportunity to expand the technology into adjacent high innovation areas."
While other AR headset makers, such as Magic Leap, who acquired ODG's patents, would be the primary target audience for Daqri's patents, Hilco Streambank believes the company's technology would be of interest across various industries.
"Applications for the various portions of the portfolio include AR glasses in the industrial space and extend to autonomous vehicles, gaming, artificial intelligence, consumer electronics, digital content creation, 3D digital mapping and more," said Gabe Fried, CEO of Hilco Streambank.
Since 2013, Daqri has impressed industry observers with its technology, manifested in its rugged Smart Glasses and even more rugged Smart Helmet. The company also amassed a deep roster of high-profile clients (about 120 customers in total according to Hilco Bankstream).
But cracks in the foundation started to show in 2017 when Daqri's board of directors replaced founder Brian Mullins as CEO with former Qualcomm executive Roy Ashok to stoke growth. Under Ashok's leadership, the company pivoted towards enterprise AR software with the launch of its Worksense platform. Nonetheless, by mid-2019, Daqri sold and deployed just 700 units, according to Hilco Bankstream's auction webpage.
The company joins the growing list of early entries endeavoring to build augmented reality technology, but ultimately needing to bow out of the game, following fellow AR hardware makers Meta Company and ODG.
With Daqri done, eyes of industry observers now focus on Magic Leap, who put its own patent portfolio up as collateral for a loan from JP Morgan Chase as it prepares another funding round.
While Magic Leap is optimistic about its prospects, It's starting to look like AR startups have a short runway to achieve a return on investment.
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