U.S. semiconductor giant Intel is to acquire Movidius, a company that creates so-called "computer vision" chips which will play a key role in technologies from virtual reality (VR) to driverless cars, the company announced Tuesday.
Movidius makes processors that use artificial intelligence to assess the world around them. The company is already working with Chinese dronemaker DJI with its tech implemented in the Phantom 4 unmanned aircraft, giving it the ability to sense and avoid obstacles in real time and hover in a fixed position without the need for a GPS signal.
The technology could be critical in a number of emerging areas where the need to have human-like vision is necessary such as autonomous cars.
Intel makes a depth-sensing camera called RealSense. The ability to understand depth allows a machine to see the world in three dimensions.
And this is where Intel sees Movidius as the perfect fit. Its capabilities alongside Intel's RealSense cameras could open up a number of new applications and make the U.S. giant a player in these emerging sectors.