Niantic Labs announced today that it has acquired Escher Reality, an augmented reality and computer vision startup that’s building technology for persistent, cross-platform, multiuser augmented reality experiences.
Escher is exploring the intersection of digital and physical worlds through AR and computer vision. Niantic has generated huge audiences and more than $1 billion in revenues for its Pokémon Go location-based game, but the company is banking on a new form of AR to drive it in the future. Escher Reality raised $3 million, and it was led by cofounders Ross Finman and Diana Hu. Niantic didn’t say what it will do with Escher Reality. Niantic also recently acquired social media company Evertoon.
Escher Reality has six employees.
“The addition of the Escher AR technology is incredibly exciting to us at Niantic as it significantly accelerates our work on persistent, shared AR as part of the Niantic real-world application platform,” said Niantic CEO John Hanke in a statement. “It’s our intention to make our cross-platform AR technology available more widely to developers later this year. Stay tuned for information on developer availability.”
He added, “At Niantic, we are committed to using technology to enhance our users’ interactions with the physical world, and we are excited to embrace the Escher team as we continue to evolve and grow our platform to support planet-scale AR.”
Escher Reality CEO Ross Finman said in a blog post, “We are excited to develop the next wave of spatial computing in Augmented Reality at Niantic. Bringing technology we developed at Escher to the core of Niantic’s AR Platform.”
Escher Reality’s investors include Uncork Capital, Founders Fund, Y Combinator, Liquid 2 Ventures, Webb Investment Network, iRobot Ventures, Presence Capital, Into Ventures, and angel investors.
“We are thrilled to announce that we are joining the wonderful team at Niantic Labs,” Finman said in a statement. “We’re really looking forward to integrating our work on mapping and computer vision technology into Niantic’s amazing content and AR platform. The long-term vision is to help to bring shared and persistent AR experiences to millions of people around the world, and further realize AR’s impact going forward. Ultimately, we share Niantic’s goal of enriching people’s experiences by blending the physical and the digital worlds.”
“We started as an idea in the MIT Sandbox two years ago and grew with the invaluable support from MassChallenge, Autodesk Build, and MassDigi—each being pivotal to our early success,” Finman said.