YoY deal activity into the perceptual computing category which ranges from voice control and facial recognition to emotion tracking and biometrics grew 41%.
From an iPad app that understands your conversations to an image recognition API turning photos into data, a new wave of venture-backed companies has emerged in a category broadly known as perceptual computing. And venture capital investors are paying attention. Earlier this month, Intel Capital announced the creation of a $100M Experiences and Perceptual Computing Fund. And Highland Capital Partners has set aside $25M to invest in startups utilizing Leap Motion’s motion-sensing technology.
The perceptual computing space can be divided into five major sub-categories as described below:
Emotion Sensing – Companies that provide technologies to detect, measure and understand emotional signals. Examples include Affectiva and Beyond Verbal Communications.
Visual Recognition – Companies specializing in tools to identify and analyze objects based on their visual attributes. This includes companies such as Digital Signal Corporation and IQ Engines.
Biometrics -Companies that offer technologies to identify and collect data based on behavioral or physiological characteristics and traits. This includes companies such as AOptix Technologies and OMsignal.
Voice and Speech Recognition – Companies that develop products based on the ability to identify words and phrases into a digital format, which include companies such as Vestec and Voci Technologies.
Gestural Control – Companies that enable the use of gestures to control and manage a variety of applications and devices. Examples include Leap Motion and PrimeSense.
Over the last year (through Q1’13), venture capital investors have poured $182M into 52 pereceptual computing deals. This represents a 41% increase in YoY deal growth. Among the larger deals were AOptix’s $42M Series E round and Affectiva’s $12M Series C financing from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures.
The immaturity of the perceptual computing space is illustrated in the graphic below, which shows over 65% of deal activity in the past two years occurring at the Seed/Angel and Series A stages.
Just 16% of perceptual computing deal activity in the last two years took place in Silicon Valley. Instead, venture-backed perceptual computing companies see considerable growth outside of major U.S. tech hubs, including a strong presence of startups based in Israel such as Cortica, EyeSight Mobile Technologies and Omek Interactive.
This report was created with data from CB Insights’ emerging technology insights platform, which offers clarity into emerging tech and new business strategies through tools like:
- Earnings Transcripts Search Engine & Analytics to get an information edge on competitors’ and incumbents’ strategies
- Patent Analytics to see where innovation is happening next
- Company Mosaic Scores to evaluate startup health, based on our National Science Foundation-backed algorithm
- Business Relationships to quickly see a company’s competitors, partners, and more
- Market Sizing Tools to visualize market growth and spot the next big opportunity