Written by - Lyron bentovim
Within the next 5-15 years, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will fundamentally transform how business and individuals interact. We are already seeing the beginning of this evolution.
Starting in the mid-80s and into the 90s, I watched a similar shift occur with the rise of the PC, Mobile and the internet. Fast forward 30 years and I saw the same signs of an early stage Tech cycle happening with Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence. Rather than passively sitting back, I formed the Glimpse Group as a way to aid startups working with these new immersive technologies.
As with any early-stage technology, the AR/VR storyline is challenging. There's success stories, such as Facebook’s Oculus Quest, an untethered VR headset which launched in May 2019. In addition to headset sales, the Quest has already generated over $100 million in Oculus store content purchases. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says their Oculus Quest, is selling as fast as they can make them, other high-profile companies released products to a lackluster audience.
AR/VR scene for startups is even more challenging. Startups have to worry about developing their product, creating a brand, educating the market, securing clients, reviewing legal paperwork, accounting, and finding funding to keep the lights on. This constant task switching means that these companies have less time to focus on developing their cutting-edge VR/AR solutions and are distracted from their core strengths. That’s where the Glimpse Group comes in. Our unique VR/AR ecosystem fosters a collaborative environment that enables startups to develop better products, at lower costs, with faster times to market and significant go-to-market synergies. Our entrepreneurs can focus 100% of their time and efforts on their core competencies, which tend to be software development, product development and to a degree business development and do so in an environment that is very conducive to their success.
Forming a First-Of-Its-Kind VR/AR Company
The biggest challenge to the VR/AR industry is the early stage nature of this industry (technology, market education, adoption, etc.). Some well-funded tech startups over hyped their capabilities, were too early to the market and ultimately ended up failing when they could not deliver.
When I tried my first VR demo, immediately I knew there was something special about this headset and its potential to disrupt markets over time. While getting involved in the VR scene, I met one of my co-founders, DJ Smith, through the New York City Virtual Reality (NYVR) group on Meetup. DJ is a thought leader in the VR space and he knew other important people working within the early stages of VR/AR technology. With my business background and DJ’s industry connections, we collaborated to create a one-of-its-kind, forward-looking, disruptive company. After meeting DJ and setting the foundation for The Glimpse Group, we began to seek funding and looking for an initial core of Glimpse subsidiary companies. We officially founded the company in 2016. In less than three years, we have grown to almost 50 VR/AR professionals and acquired 10 different subsidiary companies in NYC, all targeting different industry segments and with their own individual path – but under the collaborative Glimpse umbrella. In time, our goal is to reach 20-30 VR/AR companies in several Glimpse hub locations in the US and internationally. This creates strong diversification across industry segments, technologies and geographies, while enhancing the Glimpse ecosystem as we grow.
Creating a Unique VR/AR Funding Model
The structure of Glimpse is unique. I’ve spent my career advising and leading tech startups. I understand the pain points and frustrations faced by startups. The Glimpse Group is my unique way of solving the problems that startups generally face, such as financing or how to build an idea into a technology and a business. I describe the Glimpse Group as a diversified VR/AR platform company. Our model incorporates the best elements of a holding company, incubator/accelerator and the diversification of a venture portfolio, into a structure that is optimized to meet the challenges of the emerging, early stage, VR/AR industry.
With our 10 different VR/AR startups, The Glimpse Group is a one-stop-shop that can fulfill most company’s strategic and tactical VR/AR needs. We intimately understand the potential of VR/AR but also the limitations, and we apply this knowledge to a ROI-focused business settings.
What it Takes to be a Glimpse Group Subsidiary Companies 9 out of our 10 companies are already generating revenues! They are generating revenue by building a wide range of business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) software and services solutions that solve real-world problems, with a clear ROI. Our subsidiary companies work across a variety of industries, such as AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction), Education, Enterprise, Finance, Healthcare, Food & Hospitality, Marketing, Pharmaceutical and more.
Knowing about our subsidiary companies is the best way to understand Glimpse’s full ecosystem. Here is a bit of information about our subsidiary companies:
Adept Reality - Adept Reality uses AR/VR to approach corporate training from a learning-first perspective. Their immersive learning tools boost engagement, increase learner retention, and compress time to competence for workers and managers.
Mezmos - Mezmos utilizes disruptive technologies to create AR/VR experiences to support brands. Pairing traditional storytelling aspects to new visual medium creates new opportunities for brands to communicate with their audience. Mezmos can help brands navigate the VR and AR space, while improving a brand’s sales tools, event activations, or social media campaigns.
D6 VR - D6 VR is the next step in the evolution of analysis and presentation software. D6 VR is a comprehensive VR workspace which provides mulit-dimensional tools to facilitate deeper, faster analysis and clearer, more powerful presentations, while connecting people virtually from any location around the world.
QReal - QReal is our subsidiary specializing in creating lifelike 3D models. Oftentimes these lifelike 3D models are used in brand activations or social media campaigns. QReal has made custom Snapchat and Instagram AR experiences for major brands like Panera Bread, Domino’s Pizza, and The Economist.
Immersive Health Group (IHG) - IHG provides outcome-driven and evidence-based VR & AR solutions for patients, healthcare providers, health plans and life science companies. IHG leverages leading-edge VR/AR technologies to measurably improve the patient’s experience and health outcomes, increase access to care, optimize care delivery, and to train clinicians and practitioners.
KreatAR - KreatAR’s platform enables businesses to make their own specialized AR experiences and presentations. Businesses can easily create AR experiences, publish them instantly and utilize customer usage data analytics. KreatAR is currently used in the education, event venue, scientific research and real estate industries.
Pagoni VR - Pagoni VR understands the challenges and opportunities with immersive video. This subsidiary company is building solutions to facilitate 360 and 180 degree video workflows. In addition to their tools, Pagoni VR also has Project Chimera, an innovative communication tool that combines can place virtual avatars in a physical location in real-time.
Early Adopter (EA) - Early Adopter (EA) has a history of creating innovative interactive products for the Education market. EA provides AR/VR software, services and solutions to education entities. EA has entered classrooms by making AR history experiences, VR libraries, and a VR/AR innovation lab for a children’s hospital.
Foretell Reality - Foretell Reality provides virtual coworking spaces for 3D collaboration and interpersonal interaction between individuals and groups in various B2B and B2C settings. This VR communication tool enhances productivity and allows human communication that overcomes barriers of current distance based communication mediums.
MotionZone - MotionZone provides immersive data analysis and visualization tools focused on the Sport industry. MotionZone’s underlying technology utilizes Web based VR/AR, allowing users and enterprises to intuitively explore data, detect patterns, trends, problems and opportunities.
The Future of the Glimpse Group and the AR/VR Market
While still early in its life cycle, we believe that VR/AR will fundamentally transform how businesses and individuals communicate, interact, learn, operate and view the world. Forward-looking businesses can create competitive advantages by: staying ahead of the curve, understanding how VR/AR can impact their business model, increase top line revenues and drive operational efficiencies, and implementing these solutions as early as possible – again, with a clear ROI focus.
As I mentioned, we currently own and operate 10 different subsidiary companies working across all industries. By 2022, we want to reach 20-30 subsidiary companies. Our goal is for each of our companies to become a leader in their particular industry as it relates to VR/AR. Ultimately, our goal is for Glimpse to become a premier VR/AR software and services company with a global footprint.
If you are interested in building AR/VR solutions for your brand or have an idea for an AR/VR startup, please feel free to contact the Glimpse Group on our website. We would love to talk and to watch this industry grow.