TechRevolutionizing Augmented Reality Creation

Revolutionizing Augmented Reality Creation

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Trace, a newly launched location-based augmented reality (AR) creation platform, has secured $2 million in funding led by Rev1 Ventures and Impellent Ventures. The startup aims to simplify the process of bringing content into the virtual world for businesses.

The pre-seed round was oversubscribed and included participation from Everywhere Ventures, the Ohio Innovation Fund, Portland Seed Fund, Allied Venture Partners, Service Provider Capital, Astir Ventures, Move VC, Phoenix Venture Fund, as well as major investors in the extended reality industry like Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and Index Ventures.

Founded in 2021 by Greg Tran, Martin Smith, and Sean Couture, who previously worked at AR headset developer Magic Leap Inc., Trace specializes in creating high-priced, enterprise-focused AR headsets. Their latest product, the Magic Leap 2, was released in 2022.

The platform provides tools for businesses to create location-based AR content for smartphones, AR glasses, and mixed-reality headsets like Apple Inc.’s Vision Pro. Greg Tran, Trace’s CEO and co-founder, emphasizes the platform’s beginner-friendly approach to AR content creation, likening it to what Canva did for graphic design and SquareSpace did for websites.

While AR technology has advanced with the introduction of products like Apple’s Vision Pro, much of today’s AR content is still limited to 2D screens on mobile devices. Trace aims to push the boundaries of AR by integrating it closely with physical surroundings, enabling immersive experiences and ease of interaction.

The team behind Trace boasts expertise from prestigious institutions and companies like Harvard University, Walt Disney Co., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The company has already assisted customers, including the Hip Hop 50 Summit and large retail stores, in building AR experiences.

Among its early customers are T-Mobile US Inc., Qualcomm Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd., and Microsoft Corp., who use Trace’s tools for employee training and retail product exhibitions. Elmar Schrage, head of business XR development at Deutsche Telekom, praises Trace’s user-friendly approach and high-fidelity immersive experiences, highlighting its effectiveness in empowering sales teams and wowing customers.

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