Three dimensional imaging giant Matterport announced Thursday it plans to acquire Arraiy, a firm that uses machine learning to blend real and virtual worlds.

The acquisition, which is yet to be finalized, will integrate Arraiy’s engineering team into Matterport and support the latter company’s “mission to build the industry’s leading computer vision data platform,” according to a statement. Matterport CEO RJ Pittman added in the statement that bringing the two companies together will also “accelerate the creation of new products and features that will make Matterport significantly more powerful and accessible”

Matterport CEO RJ Pittman

Matterport CEO RJ Pittman | Credit: Matterport

“Arraiy has assembled some of the very best minds in the industry to solve really hard problems in machine learning and computer vision today,” Pittman also said.

Financial details of the acquisition were not publicly disclosed. It was also not immediately clear if Arraiy would continue to operate independently in some capacity, or if the brand itself would be absorbed into Matterport.

Arraiy is based in Mountain View, California and describes itself as using “computer vision to unlock the next generation of visual storytelling.” More specifically, the company uses machine learning to construct virtual environments and augmented reality. Arraiy’s technology can also interface with more traditional tools, such as green screens, that have long been used to create visual effects.

The company says that its technology has been used in sports broadcasts, television production and gaming, among other industries. And that means the newly announced acquisition could give Matterport a foot in the door of a number of new sectors.

In the recent past, Matterport has been aggressively pursuing growth by, perhaps most significantly, offering low-cost 3D tour products. Customers using those products can now shoot spaces with consumer grade cameras, then have Matterport host the resulting 3D images for as little as $10 per month. The company also offers a free version of the service, though images hosted at that price tier can’t be publicly embedded on other sites.

The move to consumer-friendly pricing marks an abrupt shift for Matterport, which previously focused on high-end cameras that cost thousands of dollars, as well as a subscription model in which the cheapest plan was $50 per month.

An Image360 camera, which costs about $400 and is now supported by Matterport | Credit: Matterport and Image360

In March, Matterport also raised $48 million to expand its service offerings.

At the same time, however, the interactive imaging space has grown more crowded. Though Matterport is the biggest and best known-firm when it comes to 3D tours for real estate, other companies such as GeoCV have argued that they can offer a similar product while pushing prices down. Perhaps even more significantly, Zillow announced its own free interactive tour product in April, though Matterport has contended that the product is not true 3D.

In any event, the Arraiy acquisition suggests that Matterport has an appetite to expand both the kinds of products it offers, as well as the industries it serves. And while the company provided few specific clues Thursday about the future, chief technology officer Dave Gausebeck noted in the statement that the acquisition should “expand our role helping to shape the computer vision industry.”

Ethan Rublee

Arraiy chief technology officer Ethan Rublee expressed a similar sentiment, saying that as part of Matterport his company will “continue to innovate with computer vision and machine learning.”

“I’m convinced that Matterport’s platform will enable incredible opportunities to leverage [artificial intelligence] in the places we live and work,” Rublee added.

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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