The Israeli augmented reality startup Mixed Place is planning $7 million fundraising drive to finance its global expansion ambitions. The company is embarking on this ambitious drive after working on two major mixed reality projects for the Belgian-based global food giant Ahold-Delhazie and the Pan-European supermarket chain Billa. The two giant European retail chains used Mixed Place’s augmented reality technology during a promotional campaign that was aimed at boosting customer loyalty, sales and customer interaction.
The Israeli startup has now completed its first phase of an augmented reality cloud infrastructure geared at enabling disparate commercial entities to quickly and easily develop location-based stationary or moving digital content and to place this content, with a high degree of precision, in the open spaces and also within structures. Once placed there, the content can stay in the same location within space and will be capable of evolving over time to become part of a mixed reality experience indefinitely, without any time limit. The content will also allow complete access to any user at any time in a similar fashion.
Mixed Place raised $750,000 during its seed round in November 2017 with funding coming from PPI Worldwide. The company’s next step is to increase its financial war-chest and use this to exploit the global market where mixed reality content is currently in very high demand. Mixed reality is a hybrid of both virtual reality and augmented reality and is a fast growing frontier in the immersive technologies market.
In the next few years, mixed reality is expected to grow exponentially to become a dominant form of experience that will have a transformative effect on our lives. It’s expected that billions of people will be using mixed reality in their daily routines in the next few years.
This is also coming at a time when there is a lot of activity in the mixed reality hardware sector with lots of hardware vendors coming up with revolutionary and highly innovative smart glasses. Within the next two years or so, smart glasses are expected to be as ubiquitous as smartphones and tablets.
Mixed Place’s proposed technological infrastructure is expected to catalyze the development of mixed reality applications and help ease the penetration of smart glasses that are expected to begin rolling into the market over the next few years. These hardware pieces will likely be followed by smart contact lenses, holograms and a host of other innovative displays.
Mixed Place’s mixed reality infrastructure will make it possible to have location-based streaming applications in diverse fields ranging from entertainment to advertising, retail and tourism.
The Israeli company is availing its AR technology for the first time to advertising agencies and retail chains with the capacity to rapidly and seamlessly distribute content globally. The startup is envisioning the next phase of deployment where it will make the technology available to both startups and enterprises around the world that will be capable of leveraging it for the development of Mixed Reality applications via a fast and simple process that is easily scalable across the globe within a very short period of time.
The startup was founded by the Israeli serial entrepreneur Alon Melchner and the veteran cloud evangelist Eitan Yurman and has filed a total of 15 patents many of which for very major breakthroughs in the field. The new Mixed Place infrastructure is simply cloud infrastructure that enables the placement of 3D content at an exact spot in the real world while retaining the exact format and permits accessibility as per the location of the user. Like other AR systems, the Mixed Place technology will map out and “understand” its actual physical space and be able to place virtual objects within that space at pre-determined points. These objects will subsequently evolve into reality that is perceptible by all users without any time limitations.
A good application of the Mixed Place technology would be in setting up a retail store within a shopping mall or empty space in a matter of minutes. This will enable a retailer to start with a completely empty store within a shopping mall which would be capable of exhibiting “live” products for sale with the live display encompassing personalized products placed at predetermined locations within the physical store and which will appear as if they are real in the mixed reality environment. Such a display would be permanent and visible to all visitors to the store at any time in the Mixed Reality environment. It could usher in the future of retail shopping where companies could use AR to optimize on retail space while displaying as many products as possible.
Mixed Place says that its infrastructure will catalyze the development of countless applications that will be connected to and make part of other emerging technology ecosystems such as IoT, 5G, artificial intelligence and smart cities. The Mixed Place infrastructure will bring together multiple layers of information and objects that will either be static (fixed on location) or in flux (moving in space) and which will be displayed based on the location of the user such as in museums, retail chains or smart cities.
Mixed Reality refers to the merging of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). The AR/VR integration combines the real world with the virtual world thereby creating environments where both real and virtual objects can co-exist and interact with each other in real time.
Currently, there is a robust global buzz around the development of Mixed Reality technology with some of the tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft joining the fray in developing Mixed Reality infrastructure.