The company allows mobile devices to map their surroundings in 3D – which is really useful, or might be someday
Imagine watching a video of your wedding, but being able to look at a single scene from different angles: from the front, from the side, from behind. It won’t just be a video, but one that captures depth and motion in a way that is much more immersive. That’s the promise of 3D scanning technology that is offered by a company called Mantis Vision, which announced on Wednesday that it secured a $9.7 million strategic investment from Formation 8, its existing investor Qualcomm Ventures, and others. This brings the company’s total funding to $22.2 million.
Mantis Vision’s technology, which it calls MV4D, allows you to capture videos in 3D using mobile devices and cameras. It is being used by Google as the core technology behind its Project Tango, a tablet that tracks its own 3D motion and creates a 3D model of the environment around it. This is useful in virtual reality gaming, to try on clothes virtually or for consumers to create cool 3D content to share with their friends. Some argue that with the introduction of this technology, content itself will become more immersive.
The company’s CEO Tzach Hadas joined Mantis Vision in March 2015. Prior to that, he held the position of Chief Operating Officer at PrimeSense (acquired by Apple), the company behind Microsoft’s 3D Kinect camera.
“Qualcomm’s follow-on investment in Mantis Vision aims to accelerate the mobile penetration of MV4D,” says Mony Hassid, Senior Director at Qualcomm Ventures in a statement. “The drive is to introduce new use cases and applications in advanced mobile platforms.”
Since Gur Arie Bittan and Amihai Loven launched the company a decade ago, they have raised a total of $22.2 million in two funding rounds including this most recent investment.
A hammer looking for a nail?
You can watch the video above to see what Mantis Vision is capable of. The first time I watched it, I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. The second time, I said, oh yeah, a device that maps the space around it in 3D: That’s really useful, right? Other commenters besides me have wondered what Google’s Tango Project wants to do when it grows up. But judging from this latest funding round, we can imagine that at least the company’s investors have a vision for Mantis Vision.