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Some interesting M&A is afoot in the world of hardware and software that’s aiming to improve the quality of audio and video communications over digital networks.
GN Group — the Danish company that broke new ground in mobile when it inked deals first with Apple and then Google to stream audio from their phones directly to smart, connected hearing aids — is expanding from audio to video, and from Europe to Silicon Valley.
Today - Company - Altia - Systems - Startup
Today, the company announced that it would acquire Altia Systems, a startup out of Cupertino that makes a “surround” videoconferencing device and software called the PanaCast (we reviewed it once) designed to replicate the panoramic, immersive experience of vision that we have as humans.
GN is paying $125 million for the startup. For some context, this price represents a decent return: according to PitchBook, Altia was last valued at around $78 million with investors including Intel Capital and others.
Intel - Partnership - Post-acquisition - Intel - Altia
The Intel partnership, for one, will continue post-acquisition. “Intel invested in Altia Systems to bring an industry leading immersive, Panoramic-4K camera experience to business video collaboration,” said Dave Flanagan, Vice President of Intel Corporation and Senior Managing Director of Intel Capital, in a statement. “Over the past few years, Altia Systems has collaborated with Intel to use AI and to deliver more intelligent conference rooms and business meetings. This helps customers make better decisions, automate workflows and improve business efficiency. We are excited to work with GN to further scale this technology on a global basis.”
We have seen a lot of applications of AI in just about every area of technology, but one of the less talked about, but very interesting, areas has been in how it’s being used to enhance audio in digital network. Pindrop, as one example, is creating and tracking “audio fingerprints” for security applications, specifically fraud prevention...
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