PALO ALTO, Calif., and SEOUL, South Korea, Nov. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dual Aperture International (DAI) announced today the assembly of industry and academic stars to take on the next challenges in digital imaging and camera technologies. To execute its vision, DAI has raised $5.7 million in Series A funding led by Value Invest Korea (VIK), a leading strategic investment firm based in Seoul, South Korea. eWBM, a licensee of DAI's technology, also participated in the round.
DAI was formed by combining Dual Aperture, Inc. of Silicon Valley and the leading edge academic research institute of KAIST - Center for Integrated Smart Sensors (CISS). Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is the leading university in Korea dedicated to technological advancement with $10 million in annual government funding to support advancement in smart sensor technology.
Dual Aperture International is led by Dr. David Lee, founder of Silicon Image, whose HDMI technology is currently being used in over 4 billion consumer electronic products, and recent inductee of the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame (class of 2014) for his pioneering work on DVI/HDMI technology. His counterpart at KAIST is Professor Chong-Min Kyung, head of CISS and Professor at KAIST.
"We are thrilled to announce VIK as our newest investor," said Dr. Lee. "Today, social interaction is centered around photo and video capture. Mobile phone companies and social platforms are highlighting their strengths in camera and image technologies as an important differentiator. Dual Aperture's technology will bring richer and more informative social interaction capabilities to consumers and I hope it will be utilized in more products than HDMI by 2020. The new funding enables us to bring products targeting various applications into the marketplace by 2016."
Cheol Lee, CEO of VIK also comments, "In the past few years, many companies have tried to enable low-cost and low-power 3-D image capture, depth estimation and gesture tracking. We think it's time to approach the problem anew. We see Dual Aperture's technology as a game changer and with the engineering resources and world class engineers of CISS, we see an opportunity for Dual Aperture International to disrupt the imaging business in mobile and beyond."
CISS assembled a team of more than 30 industry veterans and graduate students in camera and image research to support Dual Aperture International.
"Korea is the ideal place to develop new imaging technologies because of the presence of leading mobile phone companies such as Samsung and LG that are committed to improving their camera technologies for their smart mobile and wearable products, cutting-edge innovation coming out of Korean research universities, and ties to investors like VIK who are strategically well-positioned with their connections to CISS and deep knowledge of mobile technologies," said Professor Kyung.
About Dual Aperture International
Dual Aperture International, a joint venture created by Dual Aperture and the Center for Integrated Smart Sensors, is positioned to lead innovation within the imaging technology space. With its proprietary dual-apertured RGB-IR sensor technology and algorithms, DAI utilizes 3D image capturing and other imaging enhancements to create a multi-functional, low cost smart sensor technology that can be integrated into many consumer, automotive, and industrial products. DAI's unique depth and gesture tracking will also empower mobile camera-based applications to explore new dimensions of user experience. For more information, visit: www.dual-aperture.com
About Value Invest Korea
Value Invest Korea (VIK) is a strategic investment firm that supports the Korean government development by investing in emerging domestic small and mid-size enterprises. VIK is positioned to accelerate the growth of SMEs with their deep knowledge of advanced financial techniques, growth capital investing, project financing, and strategic investing. VIK is proud of its talented and passionate investment professionals whose extensive experience enables service offerings in the realms of corporate valuation, mergers and acquisitions, IPO proceedings, and many others.
VIK helps companies grow from start-up to IPO via a holistic support system built upon management and technical support, which includes management consulting services, funding, and measuring KPIs to ensure ongoing growth. Armed with access to bleeding-edge information and the best financial minds within the industry, VIK has invested more than any other firm in Korea in a network that can quickly access and deliver services tailored to the customer's vision while ensuring stable growth in revenue.
eWBM Co, Ltd is a SoC solution company specialized in DSP technology to have been developing gesture recognition SoC solutions using eWBM's proprietary DSP core optimized for gesture recognition algorithm. eWBM is working closely with Dual Aperture for 4-color sensor system using its DSP technology.
SOURCE Dual Aperture International