Samsung, Flextronics pour $10m into 3D start-up

Mantis Vision’s technology could be used to develop 3D TV – something the electronics giants are definitely interested in

A Mantis Vision system (Photo credit: Courtesy)
A Mantis Vision system (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Israeli start-up Mantis Vision has some new partners — global giants Samsung and Flextronics, who are investing $10 million in the 3D technology company. In addition, the multinationals have also entered into a marketing agreement with the Israeli firm, which develops technology to convert 2D video into 3D models.

The technology consists of an active triangulation system, meaning that it uses software to “observe” a scene from different points of view, taking into account the dimensions, lighting, shadows, etc., via laser. The raw image is sent to a computer, where the 3D modeling takes place, allowing a viewer to see the scene from all angles, 3D style, by moving it around the screen with a mouse.

Based on the technology, the Petach Tikvah-based company also produces a camera, called F5, which allows users to take “3D video” by using built-in software to convert standard 2D images. An insurance adjustor, for example, could use the camera to take pictures of an accident, and then analyze the image from a 360 degree point of view, making it easier to determine who is at fault.

One innovative use of the technology, said the company, is for augmented reality, where the dynamic 3D images captured by the camera are integrated with static 3D backgrounds. With the technology, a game creator could build a 3D gaming environment, allowing individuals to upload images of themselves as avatars, which can then be programmed into the game. In addition, the company said, “in future thinking, we see this camera demo as a great example of how real life capturing of content for Holographic (3D) TV can be accomplished.”

It’s that last application that Flextronics, an electronics design, fabrication, assembly, and test company, along with consumer electronics firm Samsung, may be most interested in. Samsung in recent years has made a major push into 3D television, working to perfect systems that do not require users to wear glasses to get the full 3D effect. Mantis Vision’s technology allows for a full 3D experience for the “naked eye.”

The principal investor in the company until now has been Jerusalem Technology Investments (JTI). “Mantissa’s unique technology is the ability to scan three-dimensional outdoor complex environments without the need for a computer connected to the scanner while scanning,” said Zvika Ben-Porat, JTI CEO. “In addition the scanning is performed through a single operator when the scan operation itself does not require expertise. In addition, the camera can scan a long distance relative to other technologies.”

“We are delighted at the announcement of this substantial investment in Mantissa Vision,” Ben-Porat said. “We believe that this investment from these international giants is a vote of confidence in the technology of the company and its products, as well as in the company’s commercial viability, which will be greatly enhanced with support from Flextronics and Samsung.”

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