Chapter 5. How the Computer Vision That Makes Augmented Reality Possible Works

Who Are We?

My name is Matt Miesnieks, and I’m the CEO of a startup called, which is a spinoff of the Oxford University Active Vision Lab, where my cofounder, Professor Victor Prisacariu, supervises one of the world’s best AR computer vision research groups. I’ve spent 10 years working on AR, as a founder (Dekko), investor (Super Ventures), and executive (Samsung, Layar). I have an extensive background in software infrastructure in smartphones (Openwave) and Wireline (Ascend Communications), as an engineer and sales vice president.

At, we are thinking slightly differently to everyone else about AR. We are solving the most difficult technical problems and exposing the solutions via developer APIs for customers with the most challenging AR problems. We are independent and cross-platform, and we sell usage of our APIs, not advertising based on our customer data. We believe that persistence is foundational, and you can’t have persistence without treating privacy seriously. And to treat privacy seriously, it means that personally identifiable information (PII) cannot leave the device (unless explicitly allowed by the user). This creates a much more difficult technical problem to solve because it means building and searching a large SLAM map on-device, and in real time. This is technically easy-ish to do with small maps and anchors, but it’s very, very difficult ...

Get Creating Augmented and Virtual Realities now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.