Making Mixed Reality Accessible
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The idea of starting his own venture came to Kshitij Marwah while leading the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Lab initiative.
“Coming to India and seeing the enormous talent that we have made me realize that we can create a bleeding-edge technology and design company out of India with the goal of democratizing mixed reality for India and the world,” says the 33-year-old chief executive officer of Tesseract.
Founded in 2015, the company is a MIT Media Lab spin-off that creates products in the augmented and virtual reality space.
Marwah calls the journey enriching, right from starting with a small office in Mumbai, to almost going bankrupt, before rebooting and creating the world’s first mixed-reality headset that worked with any smartphone.
“Unlike other start-ups, we have always been boot-strapped since the beginning, and with the goal of creating hardware and further the mixed reality ecosystem out of India, this journey has made us realize that if you persevere enough and are persistent to follow your convictions you will always continue to make progress,” says Marwah.
Last year, they got a major boost when conglomerate Reliance Industries acquired a majority stake in the company.
“Since we are now part of the Reliance family, we are looking to take our technology offerings to a new scale. You will soon be hearing about our next line of products in the mixed reality space and I believe we are the right juncture and at the right place to make sure MR becomes accessible and affordable for every Indian,” he says.
He believes that for AR and VR to become mainstream and successful, products need to start looking like normal glasses, and for that, a lot of work still needs to be done in optical and display technologies, perception, sensing and environment understanding using AI/ML and audio engineering.
According to Marwah, one of the major challenges for them is to get the right talent, especially because they work in the deep tech and design space.
On their collaboration with the Mukesh Ambani-led company, he says, “the thought process is pretty straightforward – how can we make sure that we can create world-class products and an ecosystem in AR/VR out of India that can transform businesses and customer experience starting with our own country and then for the world.”
Without divulging much, Marwah adds that their new line of mixed reality products will become available in stores soon.