Why IMAX is acquiring AI-driven video company SSIMWAVE

IMAX Corporation is making streaming capabilities a much bigger focus for its enterprise.

Today, the company has acquired SSIMWAVE Inc., a company that gives media and leisure firms with AI-driven video high quality options to assist reduce picture high quality points on streaming companies in addition to ease distribution prices. IMAX is acquiring SSIMWAVE for $20.5 million ($18.5 million in money and $2 million in inventory with the potential of one other $4 million ought to the company obtain “sure working efficiency and monetary aims.”

The acquisition of SSIMWAVE provides IMAX the chance to increase its enterprise past theaters. Video optimization is changing into more and more essential as customers watch video throughout a number of platforms, together with in larger resolutions like 4K and 8K, in addition to in new, interactive video gaming, digital actuality, augmented actuality, and metaverse experiences.

“IMAX is actually into presenting one of the best photos on this planet, however on an IMAX display,” mentioned Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. “And over the previous few years, we’ve been taking a look at alternative ways to increase our model into the house and into different realms.”

Gelfond shared extra particulars in regards to the negotiations as IMAX employed exterior consultants on two tracks, each code consultants and enterprise diligence to research the chance for 2 months. It has been three months since IMAX signed the unique negotiation interval, and it has been engaged on integration plans with completely different areas with the SSIMWAVE know-how.

During the pandemic, Gelfond says IMAX execs realized the deal with Hollywood content material may need to be diversified going ahead, not solely as a technique to shield its pursuits, but in addition as a method of producing extra income.

“So by way of current companies, one factor we do is we compress content material for IMAX. So if we’re exhibiting a film that was shot with IMAX cameras, now we have proprietary know-how and algorithms that compress it. This know-how will be capable of make that higher and extra environment friendly.”

Tapping the SSIMWAVE compression tech will assist carry prices down as nicely. “So it lowers the price as a result of clearly you don’t should stream as a lot knowledge to a cellphone as you do to a TV set,” Gelfond mentioned relating to condensing video with out rising prices.

IMAX has 150 theaters nationwide they usually count on to be over 200 by the top of this yr and aiming to double that by subsequent yr. SSWIMWAVE present purchasers are Disney Plus and Paramount.

The acquisition of SSIMWAVE by IMAX is meant to increase the company’s product suite and increase internationally. Further down the highway, IMAX’s post-production and know-how groups will work with SSIMWAVE’s engineering crew to conduct analysis and improvement on new options for delivering IMAX-quality video experiences throughout quite a lot of platforms.

“As we make selections going ahead in regards to the subsequent technology of projection know-how or how might we increase IMAX into the house, we consider that their [SSIMWAVE] know-how and crew will give us the power to try this,” mentioned Gelfond.



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