Last year, Kyle Cherry launched augmented and virtual reality startup VX Inc. with a lofty goal.
He plans “shape the industry” by 2020 with a series of products that make AR and VR more accessible and mainstream. VX’s flagship product is the Compact Near Eye Display (CNED). It’s an augmented reality screen that is compact enough to fit into a standard pair of glasses.
“AR and VR are on the cusp of something great,” he said. “While technological advancements have been made in recent years, most have been minor and easily predicted. We are here to make unpredicted change in a big and meaningful way.”
Beyond the CNED, VX is also working on a 360-degree thermal data sensor and a VR headset that is designed to be more comfortable than other devices on the market.
VX employs four at its Bellevue, Wash. headquarters. Before launching VX, Cherry held various design, UX, and consulting roles.
We caught up with him for this Startup Spotlight, a regular GeekWire feature. Continue reading for his answers to our questionnaire.
Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: “We have created an optic for augmented reality that is so compact it fits inside sunglasses instead of the normal big headset. And is top quality, has a wide field of view, and is affordable.”
Inspiration hit us when: “When we saw everyone in the industry going in the same direction, we decided to pivot to minimalism. Provide a top quality display, at an affordable price, in a package small enough it can fit into normal glasses.”
VC, Angel or Bootstrap: “We’ve been bootstrapped thus far. With the amount of quality interest we’ve attained from Augmented World Expo (top technology companies, and VC firms), we are fielding the right opportunities that come our way.”
Our ‘secret sauce’ is: “If we told you what the ‘secret sauce’ is that would defeat the purpose of it being a ‘secret.’ However, we can tell you that this is the first set of optics in the world that uses this display style. It’s how we’ve been able to compact everything into such a small space, be minimalistic, yet deliver a superior visual.”
The smartest move we’ve made so far: “Identifying quality vendors and suppliers and partnering with them early on.”
The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: “Probably should have had that cocktail with Sir Richard Branson when I had the chance.”
Would you rather have Gates, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: “Gates. His accomplishments are what we build ours on today. After all, I am typing this on Windows, installed on a Surface Book.”
Our favorite team-building activity is: “Enjoying a beer and talking shop after our weekly meetings at one of the last cedar clad bars in Seattle.”
The biggest thing we look for when hiring is: “For us, it’s best to hire someone that can learn how do something, rather than someone who is stuck in their past training. Tech is always changing and we need fast thinking to keep up and drive this change.”
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: “Be 100 percent in and let nothing stop you.”