Qualcomm launches $100M AI fund and reveals investment in AnyVision

Qualcomm has launched a $100 million Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund to invest in startups making on-device AI more powerful and widespread, with a particular focus on autonomous vehicles, robotics, and machine learning, the company announced.

As part of the announcement, Qualcomm also revealed its participation in AnyVision’s $28 million Series A funding round, which was originally announced in July. AnyVision has since partnered with Genetec to provide its face, body, and object recognition capabilities within security systems.

The company describes a shift of AI to the edge, in a combination of on-device capabilities and edge cloud, and says the industry is beginning to see the potential of 5G to make mobile the pervasive AI platform.

“At Qualcomm, we invent breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes, and communicates,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “For over a decade, Qualcomm has been investing in the future of machine learning. As a pioneer of on-device AI, we strongly believe intelligence is moving from the cloud to the edge. Qualcomm’s AI strategy couples leading 5G connectivity with our R&D, fueling AI to transform industries, business models and experiences.”

Qualcomm’s investment in AnyVision will support the latter’s planned expansion into other industries and development of new AI applications, and Qualcomm touts the value of AnyVision’s unique data acquisition strategy and proprietary algorithms.

The new fund builds on several investments Qualcomm has previously made in the AI space, including in facial recognition provider and AI unicorn SenseTime.

Qualcomm has also been working to upgrade the biometrics capabilities of mobile devices, with a recent partnership with ams to jointly engineer a 3D depth-sensing camera solution, and ultrasonic in-display fingerprint technology from the company expected to feature in the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

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