Snap Acquires Ariel AI To Enhance AR Features

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Snap Acquires Ariel AI To Enhance AR Features
January 27, 2021

KEY POINTS

- Snap, the parent company of social media app Snapchat, has acquired a British artificial intelligence start-up called Ariel AI which focuses on augmented reality.

- Ariel AI was founded in London in 2018 by a group of former Google and Facebook research scientists including Chief Executive Iasonas Kokkinos and Chief Technology Officer George Papandreou.

- Snap told CNBC that Ariel AI’s team joined its computer vision team in London at the end of 2020.

 

Snap, the parent company of social media app Snapchat, has acquired a British artificial intelligence start-up called Ariel AI which focuses on augmented reality.

 

Ariel AI was founded in London in 2018 by a group of former Google and Facebook research scientists including Chief Executive Iasonas Kokkinos and Chief Technology Officer George Papandreou. The news was first reported by Business Insider and confirmed to CNBC by Snap on Tuesday.

 

Prior to the Snap acquisition, Ariel AI had raised $1.1 million in funding from investors, according to Crunchbase. Snap declined to comment on the price of the new deal, but it is likely in the single-digit millions.

 

Artificial intelligence can be defined as intelligence demonstrated by machines, while augmented reality is a technology that involves overlaying digital content and information onto the physical world.

 

Ariel AI has been focusing on an area of AI known as computer vision, which is used to build augmented reality features.

 

The start-up’s website says that its software allows “3D human perception” in real time and that it can be used to power “the next generation of consumer experiences on mobile devices.”

 

A YouTube demo video shows how the company’s technology can render a 3D model of a person in real time. The model can then be used for virtual clothes try-ons and immersive gaming.

 

Snap told CNBC that Ariel AI’s team joined its computer vision team in London at the end of 2020.

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