Total Immersion gets $5.5M to expand augmented reality

Augmented Reality (AR) company Total Immersion just received $5.5 million in funding.

Augmented reality overlays digital information on your view of the physical world through a camera or other viewer. The new funding will be used to further develop the company’s D’Fusion platform and expand operations in Asia and in the US.

This latest funding round was led by Intel Capital and including existing investors Partech, iSource and Elaia Partners.

Total Immersion has solutions for many different markets including digital marketing, consumer products, events, retail, amusement parks and museums. You can see some examples in the company’s 2010 showreel below. While several other AR companies like Layar only do AR for mobile devices, Total Immersion’s only real competitor across multiple markets and devices is Germany’s Metaio, which recently showed how AR can help fix your printer.

Total Immersion has been on VentureBeat’s radar since the company launched a product at DEMO 2007. In 2009, VentureBeat ranked Total Immersion as a tier-one AR company notable for its technology, business model, and the utility of its apps. Last year the company was pin-pointed by Forrester Research as one of the few AR firms doing “real” mobile augmented reality, which they say requires object recognition on the mobile device itself as well as 3D rendering to superimpose images over the real world view.

Not everyone is an AR fan, however. One of the founders of interface designers TAT, whose pioneering Recognizr application melded AR and face recognition, recently described AR as “dumbed down reality”.

Total Immersion was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Paris, France. The company received previous funding of $11.2 million from various VC funds.