It’s that wonderful time again — when you hop into something new, and you have a totally valid excuse to bother all the people you know for hiring referrals.
Personally, I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined another Michigan-bred company: Occipital. Occipital is amongst the OG of TechStars (Boulder 2008), and they have a track record of taking technology at the frontier of “possible” and turning it into simple, compelling consumer products. That’s what they did with RedLaser (acquired by eBay) and 360 Panorama, and that’s what they’re doing again with Structure Sensor.
In the 1980’s, Microsoft and Apple were born on the wave of personal computers entering our lives. In the 1990’s and 2000’s, all of those computers started talking to each other, and companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook were born enabling until then unheard of experiences. In the last decade, mobile devices have now put the power of a computer into anyone’s pocket, with awareness of who and where you are, and it has anointed a new class of soon-to-be behemoths like Uber, Square, and many others on which the jury is still out.
The next generation of computing — spatial computing — is going to be about understanding and interacting with the physical world around us. What kind of game-changing products will be enabled when you can look at a space and instantly know its dimensions? Or when you can add life-like virtual objects to your physical world, and create virtual representations of physical objects as easily as taking photos? Or when we can point our phone at an object, and it knows not only what it is, but everything the Internet knows about it?
Beyond what that means for technology and apps, what does it mean for society when the physical world becomes hackable?
A few months later, I’m starting to build out the team I’ll be working with to explore some of these questions here in San Francisco. Before going on, here’s a quick overview of what we’re doing to help contextualize the opportunity.
And here are a few specific use cases in action:
Object scanning: capturing 3D models of real-world objects.
Interior mapping: capturing 3D models of real-world spaces.
Positional tracking: translating 6 d.o.f. motion in the real world into a virtual one.
Augmented reality: adding virtual objects into the real world.
The fact that this stuff is even possible at all still blows my mind. The fact that it’s possible on a freaking iPad is just plain magic.
To round out this team (many of the pieces are already in place), I’m looking to add the following people:
iOS 3D Engineer: As you can likely surmise from the above, we’re going to be doing a lot with 3D models of objects and spaces. If you’ve been working with SceneKit, OpenGL, or other 3D libraries/frameworks on iOS, I want to hear from you. This could be a great jump for someone who has been working in gaming that wants to switch gears into something more product-oriented.
iOS Generalist: <insert call for some ridiculous variant of “iOS ninja rockstar jedi guru” title here>
You know what I mean — I’m looking for a rock-solid iOS generalist with an eye for design. Let’s build amazing mobile experiences together.
Computer Vision Engineer: There aren’t very many companies where you have the ability to work on the kind of cutting-edge computer vision technology you will here. Whether it’s sensor fusion or SLAM, we take whatever is on the frontier of “possible” and make it work on the mobile devices we use everyday.
And across the company, we’re hiring for these roles in both our California and Colorado offices:
- Electrical Engineer (Boulder, CO)
- Firmware Engineer (Boulder, CO)
- Program Manager, Hardware (Boulder, CO)
- Business Development Manager (San Francisco, CA)
- Developer Evangelist (San Francisco, CA)
You can see full job postings for most openings here.
I titled this post “Hiring Pioneers” because that’s what we need — pioneers. Unlike your typical mobile apps and websites, products powered by spatial computing don’t yet have a playbook for what does and doesn’t work. It’s like the early days of mobile or the Internet, but with the added complexity of people not knowing how to interact with virtual objects in the real world (and vice versa). That’s what makes it doubly challenging, but also what makes it rewarding — all of the most game-changing applications have yet to be built, still waiting for the technology to be good enough. We’re at that crossover point, and you are not late.
Are we a group of fun, dedicated, diverse, and incredibly talented people? Of course, except for the lack of variety in the states from which we hail (read: a lot of Michiganders). Are we offering great compensation like every other company in tech? Yes — it’s a good time to work out in this industry, and we just announced a $13M Series B. Are we “making the world a better place?” Well, our software was used to create a prosthetic paw to help this cat walk again…
You’ll get that stuff anywhere, though. Join our team if you want to help pioneer a new kind of computing — spatial computing — and bring it to everyday life.
Sound good? Drop me a line here and tell me a bit more about yourself, a so-bad-it’s-good movie recommendation, or a tale of personal conquest in your everyday life.