- BY SHEDRACH UBA with agency report•
Israeli start-up Mixed Place, which develops a technology for creating Mixed Reality, has completed projects with two of Europe’s largest retail chains – the pan-European supermarket chain Billa and the Belgian based global food chain Ahold-Delhaize.
These chains used the company’s technology as part of a promotion campaign with the aim of increasing customer loyalty, interaction and sales.
Mixed Place has completed the first phase of development of an AR cloud infrastructure that will enable a wide range of commercial bodies to easily and quickly create location-based digital content, either stationary or moving, and place it with great precision in open spaces and within structures.
The content can remain at the same exact location within a space and will evolve and become part of the reality without any time limit, and with total access for every user at any time and in an identical fashion.
Coinciding with the finalisation of the development and implementation of projects at retail chains, Mixed Place took steps to raise $7 million develop their next stage of technology and to market its technology worldwide.
This followed a $750,000 seed round in November 2017 from PPI Worldwide, which specializes in innovative sales promotion projects for retail chains around the world.
Mixed Place’s technological infrastructure is now being offered for the first time to retail chains and advertising agencies that will be capable of quickly and easily distributing content globally.
The next stage envisions the company making the technology available to start-ups and companies around the world, who will be able to leverage it for the development of Mixed Reality applications through a fast and simple process and to implement a global scaling up within hours.
Mixed Place, which was founded by serial entrepreneur Alon Melchner – founder of AR/VR and WakingApp – and Eitan Yurman, a veteran cloud evangelist, filed 15 patents, several of which represent significant breakthroughs in this new field.
The new infrastructure is in effect a cloud infrastructure that allows the placing of 3D content at any spot in the world in an exacting format and permits accessibility based on the user’s location.
The technology maps and “understands” the actual physical space and is capable for the first time to place the objects in pre-determined points that evolve into part of the reality similarly perceived by each viewer, without any time limitation.
Mixed Place will present its technology infrastructure next week at two highly respected conferences in the U.S.: Shoptalk 2019, the big retail industry conference in Las Vegas (March 3-6) and the Venture Summit | West 2019 investment conference in San Francisco (March 6-7).
Fifteen start-ups including Mixed Place have been selected to present their technology to 100 leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms at the San Francisco gathering.
In the past few years there has been a marked advance in the development of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). The term Mixed Reality (MR) integrates VR and AR and combines the real and virtual worlds, creating new environments and images where actual and digital objects coexist alongside each other and interact in real time.
The global buzz surrounding the Mixed Reality market continues to break records with industry titans like Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and many others increasing their manpower, development and financial resources devoted to this field.
Alon Melchner, CEO and founder of Mixed Place predicts “within a few years Mixed Reality will become the dominant reality of our lives and billions of people will experience it on a daily basis as a new routine.
“Within two years digital glasses, that all major hardware companies are developing as a means of accessing digital content, will be as commonplace as the smartphone and the tablet.
“The technological infrastructure that we are now proposing will expedite the development of Mixed Reality applications and will successfully ease the penetration of digital glasses due to enter the market soon – and to be followed by contact lenses, holograms and other display methods.”
According to Melchner, Mixed Place’s infrastructure will enable the development of an endless number of applications that will be connected and part of all the leading new technologies like 5G, IoT, AI and smart cities.
The infrastructure will combine layers of information and objects that are fixed or moving in a space and will be displayed in accordance with the user’s location at museums, tourist attractions, smart cities, retail chains etc.
For example, the company’s technology will enable the setting up of a sports wear store at a shopping mall within around 30 minutes.
Such a store would be totally empty and without any actual furniture but would exhibit to visitors a ‘live’ display of personalised products in pre-determined locations within the store as if the products were real.
The display would in effect be permanent and every visitor to the store would be exposed to the exhibit at any time without any changes occurring.