Deals

AMD invests in novel video communications startup Nuvixa

Advanced Micro Devices has made an investment in video communications startup Nuvixa.

Sunnyvale Calif.-based AMD’s AMD Ventures division is investing in Nuvixa so that the startup can continue work on its StagePresence video presentation tool, which extracts a human presenter from any background and embeds him or her in a digital desktop or slide presentation. It’s as if the presenter has been pasted into a presentation when viewed via video.

AMD will be able to run the Nuvixa software better on its microprocessors because the software will be optimized to take advantage of the OpenCL standard and AMD’s accelerated processing units, which combine graphics and processing on a single chip.

Champaign, Ill.-based Nuvixa’s StagePresence technology is an example of taking something that was designed for motion-sensing video games and converting it so that it can spice up normally boring presentations, training sessions, educational videos or any other video communications. Nuvixa uses a 3D depth camera, such as that used in Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensor, to capture a 3D image of the speaker. Then it inserts the speaker’s image into the presentation.

The company has created a technology that it calls UserExtraction, which snips a person’s image out of any background in a kind of virtual “green screen” effect similar to film editing techniques.

Using Z-Definition Technology developed by Nuvixa, you can capture a video of someone speaking and then insert that video into the content or presentation. You can also use it to bring a video conference to life, placing participants in a shared virtual space.

The company was founded in 2009. The founders include Sanjay Patel, former chief technology officer of Ageia Technologies, a physics technology firm that was bought by Nvidia; Minh Do, chief technology officer; computer scientist Dennis Lin; and video expert Quang Nguyen. All are faculty or students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Nuvixa is on the cutting edge of video processing technology and exemplifies why we created AMD Ventures; to foster an ecosystem that enhances the consumer and commercial computing experience,” said Manju Hegde (former CEO of Ageia), corporate vice president of content, applications and solutions at AMD. “The uniquely powerful compute capabilities of AMD APUs coupled with software solutions from companies like Nuvixa are bringing gesture-based computing and immersive video experiences beyond the conference room and into today’s notebook and desktop PCs, tablets and other consumer electronic devices.”

By optimizing Nuvixa’s technology, the company can get 96 percent better performance.