The landscape of augmented reality space is wide, diverse and constantly changing, perhaps more than any other vertical technology. At the same time, large companies are trying to standardize different hardware designs and delivery methods while others are rushing to claim their virtual property through AR clouds and application stores.
There are even more innovators acting in relative darkness. These are the individuals and companies that drive the next phase of the AR future, before the shifting sands of today's immersive computing have merged into something tangible.
Every year, when we compile the main list of NR30 winners, the selection process is incredibly difficult, with so many talented people working in the AR industry. But once we have completed the selection, there are always a few innovators on our radar who did not make the cut. In general, these are the newer faces that, while making great strides, have not yet reached their full potential. This year, we've decided to put some of those new faces in the spotlight to serve as a stage for what AR might call "next". We hope that this list encourages AR innovators, who are waiting in the wings and almost want to show the world how they want to change the technology landscape.
Some of the companies of these entrepreneurs will fail just as quickly and disappear. They arrived. Others can continue to gain in value and be quickly acquired by a larger player who wants to expand their AR arsenal. A select few can even build their own legend in the history of AR technology and grow into their own giant.
Everything is possible at this point, and that's what makes AR space so exciting. The following people have taken great risks and have worked incredibly hard to even as a potential glimmer of hope for the next phase of AR. It remains to be seen if these courageous founders will realize their ambitions, but what they have done so far is so impressive that it could equally inspire the next group of AR founders and existing industry players alike. These are their stories …
Chi Xu, CEO & Founder ̵
While his company Nreal has exhibited its prototype smartglasses at the tech conference call in recent years, CEO and founder Chi Xu has created a new level Former Magic Leap employee, Xu launched the year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where his company announced not only a $ 15 million financing round, but also the Nreal Light, a stylishly designed SmartGlass device connects to a portable computer, much like Magic Leap One. While the world had previously seen images of Nreal Light, attendees were impressed by the augmented reality experience that included 3D content projected in space rather than head-up displays like consumer-oriented rivals North and Vuzix.
However, Nreal's participation in CES was enough to bring legal action against Epic Games. The game and development giant claims Nreal violates the brand for Epic's Unreal Engine (specifically the name Unreal), as this could lead to confusion in the market, according to Epic Games. The Nreal Light at the Mobile World Congress, on which Qualcomm has a program for its Introduced Snapdragon platform, which supports smartphones that act as tethered computers for smartglasses] revealed the availability and pricing for Nreal with two packages. First, the developer version of Nreal Light includes 52-degree field of view smart glasses, a hip-mounted computer, and a 3DoF controller, and will be available for $ 1,100 in September. With the consumer kit, the hip computer is abandoned in favor of connecting the user to a separately available smartphone. This package will arrive at the end of 2019 for $ 499.
Then the other shoe fell off. Shortly after the announcement of the developer and consumer editions of Nreal Light Magic Leap filed a lawsuit against Xu and Nreal. Magic Leap claims that Xu stole or copied intellectual property while working as a software engineer at Magic Leap. According to court records, Magic Leap claims that Xu had access to research, draft concepts and product prototypes, and used this information to develop the Nreal Light. The company also claims that Xu has copied the branding of Magic Leap, including copying the font for its logo, imitating the infamous Whale demo video, and copying his comic-style art.
Despite the legal challenge, Xu and his team continue their departure plan, including the release of the SDK for Light in July,
Xus background dates from the technical field of the spectrum. In 2007, he graduated from Zhejiang University with a degree in electrical engineering. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Parallel to his studies, he worked as a research associate at Northwestern University, the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota.
After a five-month internship at Nvidia, Xu landed at Magic Leap. He spent just over a year there before founding Hangzhou Tairuo Technology Co., which operates under the name Nreal.
Although its product is promising, the shadow of legal challenges is undoubtedly eclipsing its potential. If he survives the storm and gets his product into the hands of consumers, there's a big chance readers will find him under the NR30 next year.
Shawn Frayne, CEO & Founder – Looking Glass Factory
Most startups of augmented reality start-ups, especially from a technical point of view, have background in computer science, engineering, machine learning or another industry in which Leap to immersive technology makes sense.
In Shawn Frayne's case, he was an inventor of clean energy technology before founding Looking Glass Factory, where he is currently CEO.
Frayne earned his undergraduate degree since then, he was always an inventor, even when he was in his spare time Eliminating ice cream or making burgers while working on prototypes.  59002] His first company, Humdinger Wind Energy, developed innovative and patented approaches to wind energy. For example, Frayne invented a wind belt that generated electricity from an elastic belt. While the wind belt would not generate enough energy to replace wind farms, it could be ideal for powering energy-efficient devices such as sensors on smart buildings near vents. The company received several patents for its technology, and Frayne landed on the Inc. . Magazine 30 Under 30 List for his efforts.
In 2006, Frayne switched to a new startup, an incubator called Haddock Invention, which expanded its impact on clean energy, clean water and eco-friendly packaging with a focus on emerging markets. Haddock's inventions included the Solar Pocket Factory, a device that automates the manufacturing process of micro solar modules that are less expensive to produce and last longer than traditional micro solar modules.
Frayne Turned Again to Found Looking Glass Factory, a company dedicated to realizing the dream of 3D holograms (partly influenced by the Jaws 3D scene from Back to the Future Part II ).
The first product from Looking Glass Factory is quite different From the holographic displays makes the company today. In fact, the first product was literally a mirror – a 3D printed 3D image in Lucite.
In 2017, Frayne and the company introduced HoloPlayer One, a Lightfield display in combination with an Intel RealSense depth sensor. Users were able to view and interact with 3D holograms – all at a cheaper price than a premium smartphone.
After the device was renamed Looking Glass, the company developed a larger version and in 2019 an enterprise version. Looking Glass Pro, which is integrated into a dedicated computer with a secondary touch screen for editing holograms.
Compared to AR headsets, however, Looking Glass 3D content is contained in a display instead of being projected into the real world. While Frayne and Looking Glass are not technically in the AR Sandbox yet, they are working on technologies that will make AR concepts from science fiction a reality.
Suzanne Borders, CEO & Founder – BadVR
With so many VR and AR activities in Los Angeles, it's a little surprising that LA faces are no longer emerging, like Suzanne Borders, the CEO and co-founder of BadVR. But when the city introduces a new player, it usually has an interesting story, and on this front Borders does not disappoint.
She worked for almost seven years as a UX and UI designer for data analytics companies such as Osurv (since acquired by Tan Capital Partners), Remine and others. And when she was not working on these solutions, she traveled the world and expanded her perspective through deep insights into the cultures of Hong Kong and the Middle East.
In 2015, she was one of the winners of Zillow's Zip. Code & Hackathon, and she is now one of the winners of the Magic Leaps Independent Creators Program. A few months ago, she gave an incredibly revealing lecture on AWE's mechanics and philosophy of immersive data visualization.
During her lecture, she used the work of French artist Bernard Pras to refer to the dynamics of anamorphosis. The way Borders describes her own work is to present information and images in different ways, rather than just portray stunning data graphics in AR and VR as static constructs that you simply display is creating data environments that Be able to go through and understand users from a more holistic perspective. Borders and her team are realizing this vision in the form of a new app called SeeSignal, which powers the Magic Leap One for real-time visualization of a variety of wireless signals, including cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Although the app is still in the testing phase, Borders Next Reality gave a first glimpse into how it works and is a next-level approach to real-time data visualization. In a demo, the user literally walks through a sea of radio signals, away from bad signals (represented as a series of red bars) and towards stronger signals (green bars).
Users Need No According to Borders There are plans to develop a consumer version and a more robust enterprise version that will enable higher quality data visualization combining different signal types. The Enterprise version will also use AI and machine learning to perform a real-time radio propagation analysis. Ideally, SeeSignal could finally elude a lot of puzzles from the wireless signal that is currently on the trail of many of us often feels like we're trying to use ghostbusters.fandom.com/wiki/PKE_Meter PKE catch meters. But unlike the fictitious Ghostbusters device, SeeSignal is real, and you'll soon be able to get your hands on it.
Charles Sun, CEO & Founder – Human Capable / Norm Glasses  It's getting harder and harder to find start-up founders who not only have a great vision, but also the courage to make their own money without the Put Tech's ubiquitous cheat code at stake: venture capital.
But that's Charles Sun. , the founder of Norm Glasses did so when he quit his job and used his personal savings to make a bet that people might be ready for a wearable Google Glass-style model that does not match the Creep factor is equipped.
Sun, originally from China and now based in his adopted home of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, seems to be the start-up entrepreneur in the early days of Silicon Valley Way back led valley. He is a true augmented reality nerd and a real fan of the original Google Glass, but had to face the dark reality that in 2013 the public and most supporting technology industries were simply not ready to go. But like other AR believers, the Sun did not influence and he constantly explored how he could become part of the future of mobile AR.
Previously, Sun worked for almost six years as a technical team member at American Express. About the same time, not long after, Google Glass hit the public. At that time, he launched TeleTender, a non-profit service designed to help visually impaired users by providing instructions and instructions remotely via the mobile phone.
Those who have followed the wearables area already know that many companies have tried to provide remote support over audio properly. In Sun's case, he started using Bluetooth devices, but then realized that something more portable could have a future, like sunglasses that are married to a phone line.
Sun's journey began in 2016 – and he quit his job at Amex – on his way to creating his own device that may not only provide audio support but possibly visual interaction as well.
Under the name of its new corporate banner, Human Capable, Sun has been able to raise up to $ 300,000 from private angel investors. Thus, he succeeded in 2018 to develop his first real prototype, which he brought in 2019 to CES. This led to the launch of the company's Kickstarter this summer, which has so far cost just under $ 600,000. Delivery of the device is expected to begin in January 2020.
Reporting by Adario Strange & Tommy Palladino