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Optics for Hire picks up Actuality assets (and founder, too)

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 4, 2010 10:18 AM

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Assets of the pioneering 3-D display developer Actuality Systems were acquired over the holidays by Arlington-based Optics for HireTerms weren't disclosed, but Actuality founder Gregg Favalora tells me via e-mail that the acquisition is "a combination of stock and cash based upon future income from [Actuality's] patent portfolio." Actuality had attracted $20 million in funding, and been granted 19 U.S. patents for hardware and software related to three dimensional imaging.

The acquisition ends Actuality's 12-year run. The company had been exploring 3-D imaging applications in cancer treatment and, earlier, oil and gas exploration. Among its investors was Navigator Technology Ventures of Cambridge. 

Favalora has been consulting for Optics for Hire since last summer, and he's now a full-time "customer engagement manager" at the design and prototyping consultancy. 

I spoke with Favalora last June as he was working on selling Actuality's assets. And Favalora wrote a very honest blog post about the challenges of overseeing the orderly dissolution of a start-up that couldn't find a market niche to support it.

Here's the December 28th press release announcing the acquisition.

Actuality was based on some of the research Favalora had done as an undergrad at Yale, but his interest in 3-D imaging dates back to high school, as I wrote in Wired.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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