INTERVIEW WITH WBM 2019 Awards Winner
"I created ThirdEye in 2016, which has grown rapidly since. We have established leadership in Augmented and Mixed Reality with multiple patents published in this field."
Tell us about your background.
I am the Founder and CEO of ThirdEye, a leader in Mixed Reality for enterprise, providing an all-in-one (hardware and software) solution for all industries. While attending the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School earning my bachelor’s degree in Economics and SSE, I started an AR/VR club that quickly grew to several hundred participants. Using this combination of that experience and bringing in talented engineers, I created ThirdEye in 2016, which has grown rapidly since. We have established leadership in Augmented and Mixed Reality with multiple patents published in this field. I was also given many main stage and panel talks about 5G and AR/MR including a panel discussion at CES 2019 about AR’s use for entertainment, and a main stage speech at AWE 2019 about AR/MR for enterprise use. I have extensive leadership and technical experience in AR/MR and how 5G will impact AR/MR for the consumer and commercial spaces.
Why do enterprises across the globe use X2 Glasses and the App suite?
Early in 2019, ThirdEye sought out to create a pair of MR smart glasses that would have a lifechanging impact on the way workers go about their everyday tasks – thus, creating the most innovative smart glasses for the enterprise yet – the X2 Glasses. The X2 Glasses are the smallest on the market – weighing in at only 9.8 oz – and come with a wide field of view, powerful sensors and includes a built-in proprietary SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) system that allows for 3D environment scanning and advanced MR features that are not available on a monocular device. The ThirdEye App Suite, used by over 500 enterprise customers around the world, also offers live AR remote help, 3D SLAM based CAD modeling/overlay and more.
Today, ThirdEye is pushing the application of AR/MR technology in the enterprise even further through the use of 5G, exclusive partnerships with some of the industry’s biggest names, and being the first to receive two significant patents. As 5G is being brought to the horizon, ThirdEye is one of the first companies to integrate it into it's products and services. By adding 5G mobile edge computing into the X2 Glasses, it provides a much larger bandwidth and lower latency, allowing for more data to be transferred at a higher speed. For example, this integration will improve hands-free interaction and communication in all industries – especially workers in remote areas as they can receive remote help from anywhere, including remote locations without Wi-Fi, and will be able to stream live video or live 3D models and directly interact with surrounding objects or digital information placed in their field of view.
How big is the market potential for the X2 Glasses?
As we see these trends of 5G emerging into ThirdEye’s X2 Glasses, it opens up a vast majority of partnership opportunities with major call carriers – AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and more. Earlier this year, ThirdEye also partnered with Verizon and has more partnerships underway to further expand its capabilities. Partnering with these carriers allow for ThirdEye to make advancements that were not feasible before – the high bandwidth and low latency of 5G and the power of edge computing allows for AR/MR glasses to offload the majority of their workload to the edge of the network. AR/MR glasses will become significantly lighter and achieve a more ergonomic form factor with 5G because of the reduced compute and power needs.
In addition to ThirdEye’s innovative 5G usage and key partnerships, the company has also been granted two significant patents this year to further develop its technology and establish leadership within the AR/MR space – OLED Driver and AR Assistance Large Data Streaming. OLED displays are the future of smart glasses as they offer sharp display contrast, low pricing in volume and better display quality and for wide scale glasses adoption to replace the smartphone – something that Apple and Google have been chasing for quite some time now and trying to implement R&D around. The AR Assistance Large Data Streaming patent enables ThirdEye to deliver low latency apps (live 3D scanning, remote AR assistance and other popular enterprise AR/MR software) that is in its App Suite to help deliver seamless AR/MR experiences.
What is ThirdEye Gen's mission?
In ThirdEye's mission statement is a focus on using AR technology to impact the world in a positive way. From helping the visually impaired to see, bettering worker safety, to bringing AR educational content to rural areas around the world, ThirdEye wants to bridge the gap between being at the cutting edge of AR and being responsible socially. There are many different use case applications that benefit society at large. User Privacy is another big focus for ThirdEye – augmented reality smart glasses capture so much more data than a phone, and ThirdEye ensures that this data is protected so the user's privacy is intact. Overall, ThirdEye's team is focused every day to bring AR to the masses and help improve the world.
What can customers get from ThirdEye that they can't get elsewhere?
While many companies today use just smart glasses or only software, ThirdEye provides a full end-to-end package for its customers and employees. By offering the smallest MR glasses on the market and multiple software platforms, it allows workers to have a more immersive and engaging work environment. Companies who have incorporated ThirdEye’s MR glasses have seen a massive impact on its organization performance and KPIs, such as enormous growth in first-time-fix rates, an increase of product uptime, substantial drops in truck rolls, better time-to-resolution and superior overall customer experiences. After teaming up with Verizon to become the first MR glasses with built-in 5G mobile edge computing – essentially allowing for more data to be transferred at a much higher speed – workers are now able to receive remote help from anywhere, including remote locations without Wi-Fi, and be able to stream live video or live 3D models and directly interact with surrounding objects or digital information placed in their field of view. This marks a major milestone for MR glasses in the enterprise space as it improves hands-free interaction and communication for workers in all industries and remote areas.
What improvements can your influence bring to your industry?
While our vision has surely made an impact within the enterprise space, our overall goal is to introduce MR to every industry vertical, ultimately having businesses all over the world using MR glasses and enterprise AR software. Just as nearly every office uses a laptop, I foresee that MR glasses can be used to eventually replace/enhance this functionality within the next five to ten years. I plan to keep pursuing my passions to push for new ways for ThirdEye to introduce new enterprise use cases for our technology while focusing on the success of our clients and changing how they see the world.
What regions of the world hold the most exciting potential for your solutions?
The beauty of augmented reality is that it has applications in so many different industries, from field services to healthcare to education. Industrial applications, such as manufacturing of automobiles in the U.S. and Europe, is a popular use case. Telehealth in rural areas is another valuable use case that is helping to save lives by remotely providing AR instructions.
Are you interested in partnering with other companies globally (e.g. distributors), and what do you look for in a partner?
We partner with distributors around the world who resell our AR Glasses and software. When partnering with these companies, we focus on who their target distribution is and if they need AR. For example, a distributor that focuses on healthcare and resells our AR Glasses for doctors or the visually impaired.
If you were approached by competing investors, what considerations would influence your selection (apart from the investment)?
We always look for good, strategic long-term partners and not just “money” investments. These strategic partners can help propel sales in their own industries and offer input on product development and other areas to help grow the business overall. In the long run, these are the best types of matches
What in your view makes a good leader?
In my opinion, a good leader is someone who can effectively manage different aspects of running a company. As a tech startup, the leader should have a solid understanding of the technology so that they can position the company well and be at the cutting-edge of their space. Knowing how to manage different types of people from marketing to sales to tech is another key trait – effective management and building a strong company culture built around a core mission statement is the key to long-term success. Being open-minded and always adapting to new types of solutions for different problems is important to overcome the inevitable obstacles that come your way.