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Niantic acquires Matrix Mill

Pokemon Go creator picks up computer vision start-up building neural networks to infer 3D models of surroundings from cameras

Niantic is on a bit of a shopping spree. Today the Pokemon Go developer announced the acquisition of Matrix Mill, the third outfit it has acquired since November.

Founded last year, Matrix Mill has been working on technology that can use cameras to infer complete 3D information about the surrounding world. In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Niantic CEO John Henke spelled out the augmented reality developer's interest in the company.

"At Niantic, we frequently talk about how in order to augment reality, you need to be able to understand it," Henke said. "The Matrix Mill team has come up with novel ideas that push the boundaries of what machines can process, thinking around occlusions, and seeing the world closer to the way human eyes can. As a result of this hard work, AR experiences can feel more natural to the eye, which is a goal we have squarely in our sights."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Henke's blog indicates Matrix Mill co-founders Gabriel Brostow, Michael Firman, and Daniyar Turmukhambetov are all coming on board.

In November, Niantic announced the acquisition of Evertoon, a start-up exploring digital social mechanics, to help build social systems for the developer's communities. It followed that up in February by picking up mapping and computer vision specialist Escher Reality.

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