Wunschsicht’s Lukas Zimmerli: Building an AR Startup in Switzerland
Founded in 2017, Wunschsicht GmbH is a Swiss-based AR solutions provider led by Lukas Zimmerli. Wunschsicht is taking a novel approach that Zimmerli hopes will open the AR market to more small companies. We spoke with Lukas Zimmerli recently to learn more.
AREA: Tell us how you became involved in Augmented Reality.
Zimmerli: After earning my diploma from ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, I went to Barcelona to work on my first Mixed Reality project. In 2007, I came back to ETH Zurich for my PhD, exploring how Virtual Reality can be used to motivate stroke and spinal cord injured patients during motor rehabilitation. In 2015, I then went to Swisscom, the biggest telecommunication company in Switzerland. As team lead for mobile apps and Augmented Reality, my team and I developed AR experiences for the larger enterprise customers of Swisscom. After two years, I decided to start my own AR company in November of 2017.
AREA: Are you focusing on particular vertical industries or niches in the business?
Zimmerli: We’re exploring all opportunities to start, especially concentrating on the German-speaking market (Switzerland, Germany, and potentially Austria). We recently released our first product called insight, which allows companies to easily create AR-enabled digital instruction manuals, enabling their employees with skills they might not have. It’s a device-independent solution that allows companies to quickly get a first impression on how AR might help them.
AREA: So the idea is to show people what the capabilities are, then work with them to tailor it to their specific needs.
Zimmerli: Right, because we believe that this approach allows small companies to quickly get a first experience of what AR could do to help them without having to invest a huge amount of money for a tailored proof of concept.
AREA: What’s the market for AR solutions like in Switzerland?
Zimmerli: There is a push in the country to get Swiss companies to adopt digital strategies and AR is definitely one part of it, although AI and IoT at the moment have a bigger audience. Many companies I have approached are however saying they are looking into AR and are open to learning about the advantages.
AREA: What do you hope to get from your membership in the AREA?
Zimmerli: As a startup, we are hoping to talk to and learn from companies that have already been in the field for a long time and vice versa to inspire them. We’re also interested in actively participating in shaping how AR is deployed in enterprises. Certainly, we also hope to find opportunities to collaborate with other companies.
AREA: Are you planning to participate in any of the AREA committees?
Zimmerli: We’d like to begin by participating in the research and marketing committees.