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  • Amanda Castellino posted an article
    Understanding the factors impacting the success of VR, AR & mixed reality in immersive technologies. see more

    Immersive technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) are redefining how consumers engage digitally with each other. As a way to connect with customers, businesses are looking to transform how they communicate and capture attention. However, as an investor, it becomes vital to know the sector and understand what the future holds. 

    Garrett Eastham, computational neuroscience, federated machine learning, and immersive technologies (3D/AR/VR) expert, joined us at our September 2022 roadshow to share his experience and insights on the immersive technology sector. He also talked about what investors need to look at before investing in companies in the space. 

    Let’s talk about immersive technology in detail:

     

    Immersive Ecosystem:

    The immersive technology ecosystem is vast and continuously evolving. The AR/VR industry is estimated to grow to at least the size of the current smartphone market. It goes without saying that customers are already enjoying immersive experiences and a lot has been possible because of investments that have allowed the market to stay in power and grow rapidly. 

    But now the question arises - what should an investor look into a startup using immersive technology? There are 3 crucial things that an investor should ask before writing a check:

     

    1. Distribution Channels: The biggest factor for an investor to know is how the customers are using the product and through what distribution platforms. This is similar to asking about customer acquisition which is often considered in other startups. The distribution channels can be Native App Experience and Web 3D Assets (directly used in websites). More elaborate channels such as 4D VR experiences can also be implemented. These typically include the use of higher-end VR systems like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Sony Playstation VR. A brand website or app is also a logical place to feature 360 content – even content with VR mode. This seems like such a basic move but a tactic that has been overlooked by quite a few brands who have gone through the effort and expense of creating 360 & VR content. 
    2. Immersive Platforms: When it comes to immersive platforms, it is about understanding how the companies are actually delivering the customer experience. There are several platforms like augmented reality for mobile or using VR and XR headsets. These experiences can also feature everything from haptic vests, scent dispersion contraptions, wind machines, stationary bicycles, harnesses, and more to heighten the senses. Regardless, they are able to create high levels of immersion – what is called presence and hopefully leave users feeling more connected to a brand. 
    3. 3D Content & Development: Finally looking at the tools and platforms the startups in the immersive tech space are using to create 3D content. This is where the investors need to look into things such as the Game engine used for creation, user experience, and platforms used to develop the 3D assets. The ‘user experience creation’ is the most difficult part as there is no end-to-end way to manage it. So, investors must look into this and understand how the company is actually delivering and managing it.

     

    Creating A Valuable Experience:

     

    As mentioned earlier, user experience plays a vital role in immersive products whether it is consumer-centric or B2B. If you are an angel investor, then it is most likely that the startup doesn’t have a full-fledged experience created. So how will you decide if the user experience is of value to the customer? 

     

    For Consumers: If the startup is focused on creating an immersive experience for consumers, then you should be able to see a demonstration of how it will look and feel. As an investor, you need to experience it and ask yourself if it is adding value also you can take a look at the data for products used by consumers in the trial stage before it is made available to all consumers.

     

    For B2Bs: Immersive technology has the potential to streamline a lot of processes in business operations. So, if the product is created for B2B, then the investor must know if it is adding demonstrable enterprise value to the target corporate user. It is not just about the user experience of the enterprise as a whole who is adopting the technology but the end user who is going to actually use it.

     

    Immersive technology has the power to influence a lot of markets including gaming, healthcare, education, art, and e-commerce. It is playing a pivotal role to enhance the user experience.  

     

    About the Speaker: 

     

    Garrett specializes in the design and development of production A.I. systems - from initial notebook to restful microservices and modularized front-end experiences, as well as the necessary teams and go-to-market planning required to scale from the first customer POC to a mature end-to-end offering. Over the past 10 years, he has played critical roles on the founding executive teams of several venture-scale organizations (FloorFound, Vertebrae, Edgecase) and has personally helped raise and deploy over $20 million of growth capital.

     

  • Amanda Castellino posted an article
    All-new HaptX Gloves G1 delivers best-in-class haptics in lightweight, mobile package see more

    All-new HaptX Gloves G1 delivers best-in-class haptics in lightweight, mobile package

    Redmond, WA, USA, October 25, 2022 – HaptX Inc., the leading provider of realistic haptic technology, today announced the availability of pre-orders of the company’s new HaptX Gloves G1, a ground-breaking haptic device optimized for the enterprise metaverse.

    HaptX has engineered HaptX Gloves G1 with the features most requested by HaptX customers, including improved ergonomics, multiple glove sizes, wireless mobility, new and improved haptic functionality, and multiplayer collaboration, all priced as low as $4,500 per pair – a fraction of the cost of the award-winning HaptX Gloves DK2.
    “With HaptX Gloves G1, we’re making it possible for all organizations to leverage our lifelike haptics,” said Jake Rubin, Founder and CEO of HaptX. “Touch is the cornerstone of the next generation of human-machine interface technologies, and the opportunities are endless.”

    HaptX Gloves G1 leverages advances in materials science and the latest manufacturing techniques to deliver the first haptic gloves that fit like a conventional glove. The Gloves’ digits, palm, and wrist are soft and flexible for uninhibited dexterity and comfort. Available in four sizes (Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large), these Gloves offer the best fit and performance for all adult hands. Inside the Gloves are hundreds of microfluidic actuators that physically displace your skin, so when you touch and interact with virtual objects, the objects feel real.
    To create the Gloves’ realistic haptic feedback, a lightweight, wireless Airpack generates compressed air and precisely controls its flow. A sleek, quiet console, the Airpack can be worn comfortably on the body in backpack mode for room-scale applications or easily placed on a table for seated and standing applications. The Airpack delivers 3 hours of use on a single charge without connection to external air or power.

    The HaptX Software Development Kit makes it easy for developers to bring realistic touch to their applications with HaptX Gloves G1. The HaptX SDK is optimized for enterprise and industrial use cases, offering plugins for Unreal Engine and Unity, as well as a C++ API. New features of the HaptX SDK include: advanced vibrotactile feedback for simulation of microscale surface textures; a ROS node that enables telerobotics operators to connect HaptX Gloves G1 to remote robots for natural, accurate control of robotic end effectors; and a ground-breaking haptic multiplayer feature, which allows multiple users to work in the same virtual environment and feel the same objects, regardless of physical location, vastly improving collaborative training, design reviews, and more.

    HaptX is now accepting pre-orders for HaptX Gloves G1. Organizations can pre-order an individual pair of HaptX Gloves G1 for $5,495 or a bundle of all 4 sizes for only $4,500 per pair. HaptX plans to begin shipping HaptX Gloves G1 systems to customers in the third quarter of 2023. The company advises interested organizations to place a small deposit on their HaptX Gloves G1 systems now to establish a shipment priority date and lock in this discounted pre-order pricing.
    “Too often, we see enterprise and industry leaders resort to using game controllers for interacting with business applications in the metaverse,” said Joe Michaels, Chief Revenue Officer of HaptX. “Organizations developing their metaverse strategy now have a solution for touch feedback so effective, their jobs can depend on it. With HaptX Gloves G1 priced this low, you don’t have to settle for controllers or hand-tracking.”

    With HaptX Gloves G1, HaptX is introducing the HaptX Subscription program, a Hardware as a Service model that provides cost-effective, turn-key product deployment and support for enterprise customers. Each HaptX Subscription includes an Airpack, the HaptX SDK, and a comprehensive service and maintenance plan. Use of HaptX Gloves G1 requires a HaptX Subscription which starts at $495 per month.

    Customers that pre-order HaptX Gloves G1 need only make a small deposit on the cost of the Gloves. At a date closer to the shipment of their HaptX Gloves G1 systems, customers will select glove sizes and subscription options. To pre-order HaptX Gloves G1 or for more information, visit haptx.com.


    About HaptX

    HaptX builds technology that simulates touch sensation with unprecedented realism. HaptX Gloves enable natural interaction and true-contact haptics in virtual reality and robotics for the first time. A venture-backed startup, HaptX is headquartered in Redmond, WA, with offices in San Luis Obispo, CA. Learn more at www.haptx.com.