And with a wave of the hand… Portland's early gesture recognition player ONtheGO Platforms acquired by Atheer

What began with Google Glass has ended in a successful exit for ONtheGO Platforms—and the local investors who took a risk on the company before it was clear where the market was going. Atheer has acquired OTG for its team and technology, who were early players in exploring the potential of gestures within virtual and physical environments.

Atheer, the company pioneering the new AiR™ (Augmented interactive Reality™) computing platform, today announced an agreement to acquire ONtheGO Platforms. Using computer vision and proprietary algorithms, ONtheGO is the provider of Ari™, a gesture recognition software that turns any mobile device with a standard camera into a gesture interface. On the heels of announcing the world’s most interactive AiR™ Glasses and the collaboration-centric AiR™ Enterprise Suite, this acquisition will give Atheer customers an enhanced ability to use natural gestures on the Atheer AiR™ smart glasses platform.

“Gesture recognition technology has been around for decades and mobile devices have recently become a viable candidate for this computationally heavy technology,” said Ryan Fink, VP of Market Development at Atheer and former CEO of ONtheGO Platforms. “We’re thrilled to join Atheer, where together we will have the most comprehensive smart glasses platform and the most powerful gesture recognition system in the market that will further enhance productivity for deskless professionals worldwide.”

ONtheGO is an alum of the Startup PDX Challenge and Portland Seed Fund and part of Rogue Ventures portfolio.

“As an early investor and board member of OTG it’s been exciting to see their notable influence in the emerging smart glasses space,” said Tom Sperry, Managing Partner, Rogue Venture Partners. “We’re excited and proud about the Atheer acquisition and what they’ll be able to accomplish together.”

They also count Foundry Group’s syndicate among their investors. Foundry Group, proper, has investments in Cloudability and Urban Airship, locally, as well.

“ONtheGO Platforms will always have a special place in our hearts as our first FG Angels investment,” said Jason Mendelson, Managing Director of Foundry Group. “Since our investment in 2014, it’s been great to see Ryan and his team grow their IP and technology to become pioneers in the Augmented Reality space. Atheer is a leader in this space and we’re excited about what the two companies will be able to accomplish together.”

Something tells me that this is just the beginning of even more VR/AR/MR awesomeness here in Portland.

“Portland Seed Fund invested in ONtheGO Platforms three years ago, seeing Ryan Fink’s ability to build intellectual property in a hot space early,” said Angela Jackson, Managing Director, Portland Seed Fund. “The timing of this acquisition by an industry leader, Atheer, is a testament that the augmented reality/virtual reality space is about to explode, and the entire OTG team will be key players in getting there.”

For more on the acquisition, see the writeup in TechCrunch.

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