Intel purchases Toronto startup Cognovision for $30 million

by Liam Britten | Startups

StartupNorth is reporting that Toronto’s Cognovision, which produces software using hidden to cameras to monitor how and if store patrons look at in-store product displays, has been acquired by Intel for $30 million.

From StartupNorth:

Cognovision was the winner of the CIX pitch competition last year.

I have to admit that when I first heard the Cognovision pitch, it felt holodeck cool. It also seemed “too good to be true” — Turns out I was wrong and the company shot to ~$1m in revenue pretty quickly. Using a camera on top of a digital display, Cognovision could give you some rough estimates that covered:

  • Actual Impressions – The number of people who look at your displays
  • Length of Impressions – How long people look for
  • Potential Audience Size – The number of people who walk by
  • Dwell Time – How long people stay near your displays
  • Anonymous Demographics – Demographics of your audience (gender and age bracket)

Initial reports said that $17 million was the price tag, but StartupNorth later updated the price to $30 million.

DailyDOOH also covered the story, and they’ve been speculating about why Intel bought the Toronto company:

So why did Intel buy Cognovision? Well, Cognovision is / was a dog of an application; MIPS- consuming or MIPS-hungry as we used to call it when I was at Intel in the late 90′s and so Intel probably think that this might be a good way to try and sell a few more Intel® Core™ i5 and Intel® Core™ i7 Processors. Cognovision has some decent technology and are heavily pushing some newer retail (non-Digital Signage) solutions so it will be interesting to see if with a new owner they manage to make more of a splash than they have done up til’ now.

For a “dog” of an application, it seems like Intel saw some value in it. The system sounds pretty innovative, and it could really be useful not only for in-store displays, but also for booths at conventions.

Stay tuned for an official announcement from Intel about the acquisition, which should come around the start of 2011.

CognoVision Solutions Inc.
Markham, Ontario, Canada

CognoVision is a provider of real-time audience measurement and retail intelligence solutions for retailers & the out-of-home advertising industry. We serve retailers, advertisers, digital signage networks, media planners, and market research companies. Our solutions help companies measure the effectiveness of in-store marketing and understand shopper behavior. Using small camera sensors and... more

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Liam Britten

Liam Britten

Liam Britten is a writer and editor with a journalism background operating out of Vancouver. In addition to his work at Techvibes, he has been published in student publications across Canada, as well as local newspapers such as The MapleRidge-Pitt Meadows TIMES and The Langley Advance. An aficionado for the finer things in life — such as video games and sports — Liam is plugged into the tech... more

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