Market Reality: Lampix, Nokia, Xiaomi & More Invest in AR
Over the past week, companies took a variety of approaches to investing in augmented reality.
Lampix is backing its own effort to build an ecosystem for augmented reality platforms. Nokia and Xiaomi are teaming up on numerous fronts, potentially including augmented reality.
Perfect Corp. put its money into a study confirming the efficacy of the technology in sales and marketing. Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) took the traditional route by investing capital into a number of emerging technologies, including a company working in augmented reality.
In an effort to establish an ecosystem for its computing device, augmented reality company Lampix will build a blockchain-based image mining network that will be supported by a token system for purchase and payments.
The company hopes that the crowd-generated image database will grow to include a billion images and corresponding descriptions to enable image recognition training for augmented reality and computer vision platforms.
To enable this effort, Lampix will establish a token system to compensate picture miners, voters, and app developers. Tokens, or PIX, can be used to purchase date from the database, apps for Lampix, cloud computing service (Lampix GAS), or even a Lampix device.
PIX will be offered as part of a crowdsale token launch, estimated to occur in late July or early August. Approximately 1.1 billion tokens will be made available for sale, with each token worth $0.12 at launch.
Earlier this year, Lampix won the South by Southwest Accelerator Pitch Event in the Augmented and Virtual Reality category for its eponymous computing device, which turns any surface into an augmented reality interface.
This week, Nokia and Xiaomi reached an agreement to collaborate on business ventures and cross-license patents.
The companies will not only partner in optical transport solutions for data centers, with Nokia providing network infrastructure equipment, but also evaluate other technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things, for business opportunities.
In addition, the companies will cross-license their respective cellular standard-essential patents, with Xiaomi acquiring patents from Nokia as part of the deal.
"Our collaboration with Nokia will enable us to tap on its leadership in building large, high-performance networks and formidable strength in software and services, as we seek to create even more remarkable products and services that deliver the best user experience to our Mi fans worldwide," said Lei Jun, chairman and CEO of Xiaomi.
The year-long study concluded users of the app for iOS and Android were 1.6 times more likely to purchase cosmetics and spent 2.7 times more money on beauty products than women who did not use the app. The app spurred two times more sales on average and as much as six times more sales for some brands.
Based on the purchase histories and behavior of 25,000 females in Japan between the ages of 15 and 69 years old, the study confirmed that younger females were indeed more likely to use the app. Gen Z users were 10 times more likely to make a purchase after using the app, with millennials being twice as likely to do so.
"We are thrilled to learn that YouCam Makeup encourages customers to make more informed purchasing decisions through AR try-ons," says Perfect Corp. CEO Alice Chang in a news release. "Our team continues to develop the complete beauty journey for all aspects of the beauty market, allowing YouCam users to discover, try, share, and buy beauty products in one seamless platform."
Venture capital firm Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) recently completed the final close of their BGV III fund with $80 million of investable capital from new and existing investors.
The fund invests in a wide range of emerging technologies worldwide, including Sherpa Digital Media, a video content distribution company with capabilities for augmented and virtual reality.
"We are grateful to enjoy the support of exceptional repeat and new investors in fund III to implement our investment strategy," said Eric Benhamou, founder and general partner of Benhamou Global Ventures in a news release. "The sales of Grid Dynamics (acquired by TeamSun) and of Zentri (acquired by Silicon Labs) in Q1 2017 are a further evidence of the success of the BGV model."
Every Friday, Next Reality reviews the latest headlines from the financial side of augmented and mixed reality. This weekly Market Reality column covers funding announcements, mergers and acquisitions, market analysis, and the like. Check out previous editions of Market Reality for more news you may have missed.