Intel Capital, the chipmaker's venture capital investment arm, has announced that it has splashed out $38 million across 12 new startup companies, including those in the fields of autonomous machinery and virtual reality.

Announced as part of the 17th annual Intel Capital Global Summit in San Diego, Intel's investment porfolio has swelled to the tune of 12 startup companies across a range of markets. 'Innovation is exploding as the world transforms into an increasingly smart and connected place, where billions of devices will be made even smarter by intelligence in the cloud,' claimed Wendell Brooks, Intel senior vice president and president of Intel Capital, of his company's investments. 'We’re excited to team with these visionary entrepreneurs developing breakthrough technologies to transform lives and industries.'

Intel Capital's investments begin with a pair of companies working in the field of virtual reality: Dysonics, which offers technologies for reproducing realistic 360-degree surround sound over headphones; and InContext, which uses cloud-powered VR to provide shopping insights to retailers. Three companies in the sports and health industry were also targeted, as part of the formation of the Intel Sports Group: CubeWorks, which has developed a wireless sensing platform smaller than a millimetre; Kinduct, which offers cloud-based analytics for sports organisations as well as the military; and K4Connect, which is using technology to improve the lives of those living in senior care accommodation.

More central to Intel's traditional core business are four companies in the data and connectivity market: Eazytec, a Chinese 'smart city' developer; Grand Chip Microelectronics, also known as Kangxi Communication Technologies, which develops Wi-Fi front-end devices with a focus on the Internet of Things; Paxata, a Californian company working on business data analytics powered by machine learning systems; and StealthMine, which allows enterprise applications to directly access encrypted data in order to prevent data leaks from compromised servers.

Finally, Intel Capital has confirmed long-bet gambles on three companies working on autonomous machine technologies: Chronocam, which is working on computer vision sensors and related systems for autonomous navigation; Embodied, which was co-founded by iRobot's former chief technology officer and which is working on robotics-related technologies including machine learning, perception, and cognition with a view to developing affordable personal robots; and Perrone Robotics, which provides software to ease the development or mobile autonomous robotics applications.

Intel Capital has not detailed how the $38 million total funding has been split between the companies.
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