From one Mountain Standard Time to the other

We have some exciting news to share! We recently said goodbye to 120 degree weather, loaded a U-Pack with our belongings, and moved to Denver, Colorado. 

Strategizing the most efficient way to unpack the U-pack.

The decision wasn’t an easy one since we’ve grown up in Arizona and began building Somatic Labs in Phoenix, but we are excited to call Denver our new home. We’re looking forward to connecting with founders who’ve also started companies in the Rocky Mountains. After going through Techstars Kansas City in 2017, we’re also proud to join the Techstars community in Denver and Boulder.

Though we’re still marveling at the summer monsoons and number of public parks here, we’ve hit the ground running over the past few weeks. We have a new implementation of our Zorb Hardware that we’re excited to demo. Let us know if you’re ever in the Denver area – we’d love to see you and let you try our newest haptic display!

Augmented Reality in Space

Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging technology that enhances, or augments, a user’s perception of the real world. The enhancement can be delivered through sight, sound, or touch and provides additional information about a person’s environment.

Beyond consumer and entertainment applications, AR is highly useful for improving efficiency, safety, and productivity in the workplace by providing a user with important information (i.e. sensor data, inventory information, heat mapping) that is not naturally perceivable from the environment. Many industries including construction, medical, manufacturing, and defense sectors have begun to invest and develop AR technologies that enhance a user’s ability to complete a task. Recent partnerships between HTC Vive and AECOM, developments by the US military, and projects supported by Medtronic illustrate how AR heads-up displays offer a powerful method for conveying information needed to plan a construction site, learn a medical procedure, or successfully execute a military training exercise.

In addition to these on-Earth settings, AR has similar applications for improving operational tasks during space exploration. Astronauts stationed on the International Space Station (ISS) have already experimented using Microsoft’s Hololens to complete tasks.
Feedback from astronauts that tested the Hololens and NASA’s roadmap plans indicate that AR could be used to (1) superimpose instructions or illustrations that guide an astronaut through maintenance repairs, and (2) enable remote visibility between an astronaut and ground operator to solve an issue together in real-time. The Hololens is also being used to plan the next Mars mission. Additional projects such as AMARIS and open calls for AR solutions highlight NASA’s interest in developing AR technologies and AR’s growing ability to support unique conditions in aeronautic and space missions.

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Thoughts on CES 2018

2018 is off with a bang, and so are we! We spent this past week in Las Vegas demo-ing our technology at CES and had a great time talking with fellow entrepreneurs and technologists. Here’s a few key takeaways from our CES experience.

Great Startups Start Anywhere

During CES, Shantanu spoke on a Techstars panel themed “Great Startups Start Anywhere” to share the benefits and reasons of why companies decide to start outside of Silicon Valley. In addition to representing our home state, Shantanu highlighted the importance of the networks and resources we have in Arizona, and how Phoenix is a becoming start-up city. The diversity in company headquarters throughout Eureka Park also illustrates the claim that great startups start anywhere. Companies we talked with came from a wide variety of cities in the US including Kansas City, Arlington, Cincinnati, and Detroit. Exhibitors from the Netherlands, Canada, and France — among many other foreign countries– had a large presence in Eureka Park.

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Techstars, as experienced by Employee 1

It’s been about six weeks since we returned to Phoenix after participating in Kansas City Techstars, meaning this post is pretty overdue. I’ve had decent time to reflect on my time in program and wanted to share three Techstars experiences that remain valuable as I continue working at Somatic Labs and in the start-up community. Keep reading