Cantillon: Two to tango and Movidius is motoring

Being named by Google as a key team member of Project Tango a huge development for Irish company

Google wants to make mobile devices more human-like with an understanding of space and motion – and it needs Movidius to help it get there. Photograph: David Ramos/Bloomberg

Google wants to make mobile devices more human-like with an understanding of space and motion – and it needs Movidius to help it get there. Photograph: David Ramos/Bloomberg

 

It takes two to tango, and what a partner Google looks like being for Dublin chip maker Movidius. Being named by Google as a key team member of Project Tango, a plan to bring visual awareness to Android smart-phones, is a huge development for the Irish company.

Google wants to make mobile devices more human-like with an understanding of space and motion, and it needs Movidius to help it get there.

Quietly Movidius has worked with Google for two years on this plan before yesterday’s announcement.

Suddenly a lot make sense. Now we know why Movidius opened an office in Silicon Valley and why high-calibre investors DFJ Esprit, Atlantic Bridge and Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC), were so eager to put $16 million into it last year.

The reason why Remi El-Ouazzane, a former senior executive in Texas Instruments, became its chief executive while at the same time technology veteran Dan Dobberpuhl came in as chairman last year are now also much clearer.

Project Tango by tracking the full 3D motion of a device and mapping it, opens up applications in immersive gaming, robotics, drones and even helping the blind navigate better.

For Movidius, Google is a ground-breaking deal, but others could be on the horizon.

One of the Irish firm’s shareholders is RBVC, the venture capital arm of privately owned Robert Bosch Gmbh. This German company is the world’s largest supplier of automotive components with revenues of €53 billion last year.

Could using Movidius’s technology in the automotive industry be another game changer? If cars could accurately tell where they are relative to their environment, they would not be that far off driving themselves.

Movidius is motoring.

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