Occipital Acquires Lynx Laboratories, Expands 3-D Scanner Capabilities

Occipital, a San Francisco startup founded by two University of Michigan alums, has acquired Austin, TX-based Lynx Laboratories, maker of mobile 3-D scanning technology. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Occipital’s vice president of marketing, Adam Rodnitzky, said the entire Lynx Laboratories team of seven employees has been absorbed by his company.

Occipital’s technology relates to the emerging field of spatial computing, which allows devices to interact with the 3-D world. Occipital’s latest product, the structure sensor, is a piece of hardware that plugs into a tablet and allows the user to capture 3-D models or images in order to map the surrounding area. The mobile 3-D sensor also allows users to use positional tracking and add virtual objects to the real world through augmented reality.

Lynx first attracted Occipital’s attention in 2013 after it mounted a successful Kickstarter campaign for its Lynx A mobile 3-D scanner. Lynx eventually shifted its focus from building proprietary hardware to developing software that incorporates the structure sensor.

“They became one of the best software developers on our platform,” Rodnitzky said. “We were focused on iOS, and they were focused on Android. We were consumer-focused, and they were enterprise-focused. We’ve been on parallel paths, but bringing the two companies together gives us much broader capabilities and allows us to work with larger companies with enterprise needs.”

Rodnitzky said the technology acquired from Lynx is going to bring the accuracy of the structure sensor in line with $10,000-plus LIDAR systems, except at a consumer price point and with the ease of using an iPad. To date, Occipital’s products have more or less been an iOS-only play, he added, and the acquisition brings deep Android experience to the team. (Lynx was using the structure sensor with an NVIDIA Shield tablet.)

“We haven’t released any software updates yet, but we will in the future,” Rodnitzky said. The first major product announcement is expected to take place at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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