ThirdEye Gen: The company behind “the world’s smallest Mixed Reality smart glasses”
Nick Cherukuri is founder and CEO of ThirdEye Gen, the Princeton, New Jersey-based smart glasses solutions provider and new AREA member. We spoke with Nick about his company, its products, and its recent new product announcement.
AREA: How and when was ThirdEye Gen founded?
CHERUKURI: The company’s been around for about three years. The first two years were spent researching and designing. Then we came up with our first product, our X1 smart glasses. We launched the X1 at CES in January of 2018 and we just unveiled our new X2 product, the world smallest Mixed Reality smart glasses with built-in SLAM, at CES 2019.
AREA: How does the X2 compare to other smart glasses?
CHERUKURI: The main differentiator for the X2 is its field of view, which, at 42 degrees, it is very wide. We designed and built the product mainly for the enterprise market, so it also features a very high brightness level and includes massive battery packs so you can wear the glasses six to eight hours at a time. And it’s based on Android, so it’s very easy to customize and create applications. The built-in SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) we developed in-house allows for advanced tracking applications, such as 3D machine instructions.
AREA: What made you decide to get into the smart glasses business?
CHERUKURI: We had a related background in the military. In addition, our engineers had been working with this technology for the past 20 or 30 years. With the growth of AR, we saw an opportunity to expand our business into the enterprise market.
AREA: What applications or industries have you had success in?
CHERUKURI: The most popular application for the X2 so far has been the ThirdEye App Suite. We offer our own remote help software, but we also partner with third-party software companies that have their own platforms. A lot of these companies buy our glasses, load them with their software, and resell them with their value added. That’s the most common use case, but we have others. For example, we work with many companies in the healthcare space who are VARs and use it for the visually impaired, surgical use cases, and other uses.
AREA: What kinds of benefits are ThirdEye customers getting from your products?
CHERUKURI: Most of our customers are still in the pilot phase, but even at that early stage, they’re seeing that, by saving the cost of sending an expert just once to the customer site to fix a problem, the glasses pay for themselves. The ROI is huge. The main challenge to mass deployment is the legacy of installed systems and the integration effort.
AREA: Do you consider that to be the greatest barrier to AR adoption?
CHERUKURI: Yes. Whenever you have a new technology, the integration required to bring that solution to the day-to-day life of a large company takes time in terms of going from a pilot program to wide-scale use.