Irish chip designer Movidius signs mega-deal with Google

Irish group’s technology will power plan to install intelligent vision-based applications in Android smart phones and other mobile devices

Movidius, a cutting-edge Dublin chip designer, has teamed up with Google to bring visual awareness to the next generation of Android-based smart phones in a move that will open up revolutionary new avenues for indoor navigation and immersive gaming.

3D sensors
The technology giant announced in California tonight that it plans to use Movidius' Myriad 1 vision process platform to power what it is calling Project Tango, a plan to install intelligent vision-based applications using advanced 3D sensors in Android smart phones and other mobile devices.

Last July, Movidius raised $16 million (€12.3 million) in a funding round led by DFJ Esprit, Atlantic Bridge and Robert Bosch Venture Capital, a German fund, as it geared up to launch its new technology and grow its business in the United States.

"Project Tango strives to give mobile devices a human-like understanding of space and motion through advanced sensor fusion and computer vision, enabling new and enhanced types of user experiences – including 3D scanning, indoor navigation and immersive gaming," Johnny Lee, technical lead at Google's advanced technology & projects team, said in a statement last night.


“Movidius has provided a key component towards enabling access to these features in a small mobile platform, with a chip designed with visual sensing and battery life in mind,” Mr Lee added.

“Google has paved the future direction for smart mobile vision systems and we’re excited to be working with a company that shares our vision to usher in the next wave of applications that fundamentally alter how a mobile device is used to experience the world around us,” Remi El-Ouazzane, chief executive of Movidius said. “Project Tango is truly a groundbreaking platform.”

Silicon Valley
Movidius recruited Mr El-Ouazzane as chief executive last year and appointed Dan Dobberpuhl as chairman at the same time, as it opened a US headquarters in San Mateo in Silicon Valley.

Mr El-Ouazzane was previously a senior executive at Texas Instruments in the US, while Mr Dobberpuhl was a founder of PA Semi, a company bought by Apple for $278 million six years ago.

Movidius employs 15 people in Dublin out of its total of 50 employees in Europe and America. It was founded in 2005 by tech veterans Sean Mitchell, David Moloney and Val Muresan, who all still work with the company.