We see what you're up to, Intel, with your eye-o-tee vision

Chipzilla slurps computer vision company Itseez to target autonomous cars

Intel reduced to a component supplier to auto-makers? Don't rule it out, readers, or rate it a cut-rate fate for Chipzilla, because the company has just made a bet in just that field.

The bet is the acquisition of a company called Itseez Inc, “an expert in Computer Vision (CV) algorithms and implementations for embedded and specialized hardware.”

“Itseez contributes software tuning and integration in many market-leading products shipping today from cars to security systems and more,” says Intel's announcment of the deal to acquire the previously-obscure company. “This acquisition furthers Intel’s efforts to win in IoT market segments like automotive and video, where the ability to electronically perceive and understand images paves the way for innovation and opportunity.”

Intel already has some skin in this game: the company's been pushing its RealSense camera as a way to add biometric authentication and scanning of 3D objects to laptops for more than a year now. The cameras are yet to land in mainstream laptops, but we know what will happen once their price falls.

For now, we can see that Intel is starting to assemble a comprehensive stack to power and connect “things.” Atom and Edison give Chipzilla x86s fit for all manner of small devices. Wind River gives Intel devices that aggregate input from things and send data off to (Xeon-powered) data centres where the data can be crunched. The likes of RealSense and Itseez mean Intel can pack some decision-making smarts into things that need to be aware of their environment.

All it needs to do now is mature that stack, fend off competitors, win some big deals and hope it can get all that done without the PC market collapsing, the mobile market's ARM fetish sending server-makers in search of Xeon alternatives or Google blowing up the data centre market with its own silicon. ®

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