Immersive Technology: Lessons from AR/VR Application Providers & the Top Platforms
Virtual Reality's rollercoaster ride hasn't required goggles to feel the ups & downs in one's stomach. Augment Reality seems to be making a major push, but it is still unclear where this technology is headed. Like every industry, the initial enthusiasm is leading to some very specific uses that are taking hold while others are mere fads. Learn from companies at the forefront of immersive technology around what has worked, what hasn't and what the next loop-to-loop holds.
Adam is CEO and Co-founder of TheWaveVR, a VC-backed music tech startup building the world's first social platform for VR music concerts. He has 10 years of experience working on music tech products as a sound designer, game designer, and product leader. While at Harmonix, he worked on AAA titles like Rock Band, Dance Central, Disney's Fantasia, Harmonix Music VR, and more. He led the development of the 2015 Music App of the year Ditty, at LA-based startup Zya.
Andrew Trickett is the Co-Founder of Merge Labs, Inc. Founded in 2013, Merge is a Texas-based startup focused on making virtual reality fun and easy for everyone. In charge of strategic planning for the technology startup, Trickett oversees fundraising, business development, customer support and business operations. He has a strong history of operating, evaluating and advising tech startups, and working with investor groups.
Trickett co-founded and managed all revenue generation activities at startup Virtual Alert, which enjoyed a successful exit when purchased by a strategic buyer. He was a partner at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman). His experience also includes strategic alliance and business development at Trilogy Software.
He is a member of the selection committee of the South Texas RCIC, which reviews regional applicants for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. Trickett holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BBA from the University of Texas.
Drew Skillman is Creative Director on "Tilt Brush by Google", a virtual reality application that allows anyone to paint in 3D space at room scale. That project developed as part of a number of different augmented reality, virtual reality, and natural motion experiences at the company he co-founded, Skillman & Hackett, before it was acquired by Google in 2015.
Prior to diving deep on AR & VR, Drew worked in the games industry for over a decade as Technical Artist, Visual Effects Artist and Project Lead. Drew weaves together a cross disciplinary skillset of design, visual effects, engineering and physics to deliver immersive experiences carved from the intersection of art and technology.
Nick Fajt is the CEO and co-founder of Against Gravity, the company behind Rec Room, a virtual reality social club where you can play games with people from around the world. Rec Room is available on Steam, Oculus, and PSVR. Before Against Gravity, Nick worked at Microsoft on both the Hololens and Forza Motorsport teams.
Timoni West leads the immersive Authoring Tools group in Unity Labs, a team of cross-disciplinary artists and engineers exploring new interfaces for human-computer interaction. Labs’ first project, EditorVR, was introduced at Vision Summit in February 2016 and released in December.
Before Unity, Timoni was SVP of Design at Alphaworks, and cofounder & creative director of Department of Design. She's worked at startups across the country, including Foursquare, Flickr, and Betaworks. Timoni also mentors and advises new AR/VR startups in the Bay area.
Kobie is a Partner at Upfront. He joined the firm in June 2016 after having previously worked at Silicon Valley based Accel, where he was involved in investments including Campaign Monitor, UserTesting, AdRoll, Emergent VR and Invoca (also an Upfront portfolio company). Prior to Accel, Kobie was the Chief Marketing Officer at REVOLVE, one of the largest global fashion ecommerce players based in Los Angeles.
Kobie brings to Upfront expertise in SaaS businesses and marketing technologies and is an author of Growthverse, an interactive visualization of the marketing technology landscape. He has deep knowledge of emerging technologies including VR and AR and was also an early personal investor in Oculus, later sold to Facebook for $2B. Earlier in his career, Kobie helped found OpenView Venture Partners and was an investor at Insight Venture Partners where he sourced notable early investments in Exact Target (acquired by Salesforce for $2.5B) and Instructure (NYSE: INST).