While augmented reality firm Aurasma looks and sounds like a startup, it’s a division of British technology company Autonomy, which is itself owned by HP. Now HP is set to ring the changes at its AR subsidiary.
An internal memo from HP’s Robert Youngjohns has been leaked to All Things Digital, revealing plans to integrate Aurasma’s technology more closely with the rest of its business. The process will include some layoffs.
“With the announcement of Aurasma 2.0, we are ready to move to the next stage of this exciting business and focus on commercialization and revenue generation,” explains the memo.
That includes “plans to feature Aurasma in products from other parts of HP – notably PPS, where the technology is key to PPS’s strategic intent to link print back to the Internet making it an equal mobile, social, and cloud citizen with digital display technologies”.
PPS is HP’s Printers and Personal Systems division, and the memo reminds staff that some collaboration has already happened: the HP Live Photo iPhone app that we revealed in December (pictured).
“This transition will require some changes to the Aurasma business as we to move to the next stage. While a number of roles will remain largely unaffected by this, other roles within Aurasma will no longer be required going forward and some work force reduction is likely,” warns the memo.
Aurasma has been working hard to strike deals with a range of brands and media/entertainment companies to use its technology in the last year or two: record labels, magazine publishers, FMCG brands and more.
We suspect that HP is taking a hard look at all these experiments with the intention of doubling down on those that may generate significant revenues for the Aurasma business, and cutting those that don’t.