Report: Google Drops $10M on 3D Video Startup

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Google has purchased a startup that produces online 3D virtual tours with user submitted video for an estimated $10 million, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Neither Google nor Quicksee have commented on the report.

The Israeli-based Quicksee, also known as MentorWave Technologies, lets users create 360 degree virtual tours using their own video which can be uploaded and plotted by location on a Google map for all the world to see. The process is a little complicated on the user end (groovy music warning):

In practice, the technology ends up looking very similar to Google’s controversial Street View service. A buyout of Quicksee could be a play for personnel, but the technology could also be useful if Google wanted to spruce up Street View.

While Street View uses 360 degree vehicle-mounted cameras to give users an outdoor view of streets and roads, a lot of Quicksee’s tours take place indoors or in confined spaces. It also uses a series of still images rather than full motion video.

As a private company, Quicksee doesn’t disclose its sales revenue, but the report suggests the price is probably pretty low. The startup has raised $3.5 million from investors.