• First six startups inducted as hubraum continues hunt for commercial MR market.
  • Technologists Nreal and Qualcomm partnered.
  • Mix of late‑stage and greenfield startups in a “diverse” line-up.
  • Enterprise customers an apparent target for most.

hub:raum’s Mixed Reality Programme goes live

hubraum’s Mixed Reality Programme goes live

Source: hubraum

Deutsche Telekom’s (DT) tech incubator hubraum welcomed the first six startups to its Mixed Reality Programme, with Programme Manager Tim Akgül confirming the induction of “batch #1” on 1 September 2020. This means the MR Programme has now entered the Implementation & Deployment Phase, with consumer‑ready apps anticipated by January 2021.

The Programme is the outcome of a partnership with Qualcomm and artificial reality headset manufacturer Nreal, which together aim to accelerate the commercialisation of mixed reality (MR) solutions. Narrowed down from 500 businesses scouted over the past few months, 14 candidates were “collaboratively chosen” by hubraum and its partners. Akgül confirmed to TelcoTitans that the next batch would be revealed 17 September.

For the selected participants, the MR Programme will offer access to dedicated engineering teams from DT and Nreal, along with Nreal’s Light DevKit (a hardware package supporting development of MR solutions), mentorship, and networking opportunities. On completion, there is “potential” for hubraum investment. 

For Nreal, the initiative facilitates development of exclusive MR apps on its own hardware, ready for launch in early‑2021.

Third partner Qualcomm has gone to significant lengths to ensure its name features across the MR market, including links to global telcos via its XR Optimized Certification Programme. DT, EE, Telefónica, and Vodafone are amongst the operators and XR (extended reality) hardware manufacturers that have joined the programme, which assesses the performance and compatibility of XR devices (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #94).

Continuing hubraum’s drive to identify and advance commercially‑viable use‑cases, the MR Programme commenced in January 2020 with Nreal and Qualcomm buddied to find apps that would bring MR technology to consumers and enterprises. MR has also been presented as a potential showcase for 5G during its testing over the past few hubraum programmes (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #85 and #92).

MR Programme’s “Batch #1” startups, September 2020
StartupFocusRecent developments
 Sources: hubraum; companies.

Electric Eggplant

California

MR for education in books and games.

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eyecandylab

Munich

Developer of two products: Augmen.tv (VR for retail) and LENS.AD (transactions through video).

Targeting an enterprise market.

A retail partnership with Adidas in Paris and with investor LG.

$1.5m (£1.12m/€1.26m) Seed Round in August 2019, involving:

  • Band of Angels (lead investor).
  • Berkeley Angel Network.
  • Comcast NBC Universal LIFT Labs Accelerator.
  • LG Technology Ventures.
  • Techstars.

Graffiti Reeveal

Caen

AR for tourism via a mobile “vision assistant”.

Primarily consumer‑focused.

Appears to have no external investment as of yet. The app was launched on Apple’s App Store in April 2020.

MATSUKO

Slovakia

AR‑powered communications tools and MR holograms.

Video-conferencing for the workplace identified as a key market.

€1.2m Seed Round in November 2019, taking total funding to €2.5m over three rounds. Backers include:

  • Granpool.
  • IPM Growth.
  • Neulogy Ventures.
  • Oktagon Ventures.

Real Shot

California

AR gaming with a two‑pronged product line‑up — Real Shot TV and Real Shot AR — both of which are “coming soon”.

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TRIPP

California

Subscription‑based wellness app with a VR experience.

Hospitals and clinics, as well as individuals, identified as current customers.

Looking to expand with enterprise offering.

$4m (£2.99m/€3.37m) Series A funding round by sole investor Mayfield Fund in 2017.

Although three years have passed since its fundraising, the startup said that the MR Programme will enable “the first wave of AR experiences from the TRIPP team”.