Ground-breaking Augmented Reality Communications spin-out recruits as it prepares to go to market
A new Edinburgh Napier spin-out business is expanding as it seeks to market a product which brings real-world objects to life in mobile devices.
3FINERY uses ground-breaking Augmented Reality (AR) technology which can boost customer engagement with remote marketing campaigns by portraying goods, services and venues in innovative ways. It is expected to appeal strongly to businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new twist on traditional AR methods was developed at the School of Computing over a three-year period by Professor Kenny Mitchell and his former PhD student Dr Llogari Casas.
Intermediated Reality technology enables uniquely efficient communication via animation of real objects. It has been showcased at international conferences and trade shows, and the growth of 3FINERY has been supported with major cash injections from the ICURe programme and Innovate UK.
Now the start-up is looking for Graphics Software Engineer and Technical Artist talent with the intention to grow the team rapidly in readiness for the final push to get the product market-ready.
Co-founder Llogari, pictured, said: “The technology provides a novel way of interacting with products both around you and far away, and can be easily integrated with existing software, offering unique interactive experiences.
“It is very exciting to have got the project to this stage, with the backing of the University, and we are now looking to press on with commercialisation.”
Augmented Reality allows brands to create fun interactive experiences for their customers with a few taps on their mobile phone, but the 3FINERY technology goes a step further than competitors, who use AR to overlay content on the screen, and can bring any desired object to life remotely and realistically.
Intermediated Reality, the technology behind the company, is a framework for highly efficient distributed communication. It was developed by Llogari and Kenny through an EU Horizon 2020 project entitled ‘DISTRO’. 3FINERY enables play and collaboration via remote channeling of voice and motion through objects that come to life in mobile Augmented Reality.
The ICURe programme – Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research – made a grant of £45,000 to support six months of intensive market assessment and engagement with prospective customers, suppliers, partners and regulators to test the project’s commercial potential.
3FINERY raised a further £150,000 to develop the product for the market by winning a highly competitive Innovate UK funding competition.
Fiona Mason, Head of Business Engagement and IP Commercialisation at Edinburgh Napier, said: “3FINERY is a really exciting new technology emerging from our School of Computing. As a follow-on from the EU Horizon 2020 funding where the idea was developed, we were delighted to receive backing from ICURe to help us with our commercialisation journey - this is a highly competitive funding programme and well sought after, and the team found the support invaluable.
“The recent award from Innovate UK is further testament to the ingenuity of the idea, the expertise and skillset of the inventors, and the market readiness of the idea.
“Over the last 10 years, our School of Computing has achieved three successful cyber spin-outs - ZoneFox in 2010, Symphonic in 2013 and Cyan Forensics in 2017. We are delighted to be including 3FINERY in our venture portfolio and believe this magical technology will be a welcome disruptor in a fast-paced marketing landscape.”