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Austria's AMS AG teams up with China's AI provider Megvii

VIENNA, June 27 (Reuters) - Sensor specialist AMS AG and Chinese artificial intelligence provider Megvii have agreed to jointly develop plug-and-play solutions that enable 3D face recognition in any smart device, the Austrian group said on Thursday.

The news boosted AMS shares by 10%.

AMS is known as a supplier of optical sensors for Apple's 3D facial recognition technology, but has long been working on reducing its dependency on the Californian technology giant with new customers and products.

Beijing-based Megvii, commonly known as Face++, is backed by Alibaba Group, for which it provides the technology for online payment unit Alipay, and Foxconn Technology. It also counts Ant Financial and Huawei Technologies as clients and serves government entities and state-owned firms.

The two companies plan to offer an off-the-shelf face recognition system for smart home, smart retail, smart building and smart security applications, which will be independent of the user's mobile phone, AMS said in a statement.

They are working on a solution that will combine AMS's super-fast and power-effective laser emitter modules -- so called VCSELs -- with Megvii's software for depth mapping and face recognition and plan to bring it to market this year, AMS said. (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle)