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Qualcomm selling off its augmented reality business

by Jacob Kleinman | October 13, 2015October 13, 2015 2:20 pm PDT

Qualcomm may be best known for making the processors that power our smartphones, but the company also runs a pretty successful augmented reality business. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that the chip-maker is selling its Vuforia platform to PTC, a tech firm interested in the Internet of Things, for $65 million.

It’s unclear why Qualcomm decided to ditch its augmented reality division, though both companies seem to be pretty happy with the results. PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann calls Vuforia an “incredible innovative technology platform,” adding that it’s a perfect fit with the Internet of Things. “Because of what IoT is enabling, more and more products are now a mixture of digital and part physical content,” he explained.

Vuforia’s chief, Jay Wright, also seems excited by the news. “The Vuforia team has made incredible progress establishing augmented reality as a medium for leading brands to reach millions of consumers around the globe,” he said. “I look forward to leading the team under PTC.”

Vuforia’s software makes it possible for developers and companies to create their own experiences, ranging from a Sesame Street app to a pair of augmented reality driving goggles created by BMW. Hopefully we’ll continue to see interesting new products and apps after PTC takes over the business.

The deal is set to close by the end of the year.

Qualcomm PTC Engadget

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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