Utah Augmented Reality Tech Company Brings Business Into the Metaverse

This has happened to most of us in the past: after ordering something online, the product delivered to your door is not what you expected. Maybe it’s too big, too small, or it doesn’t seem like it’s online.

But there is a Lehi -based technology company that can help.

SeekXR and its augmented reality capabilities allow consumers to simply scan a QR code and that couch you are looking at or a new table can be seen in your living room through your screen. smartphone.

Although much of the company’s business is related to this kind of augmented reality, Seek founder and CEO Jon Cheney said the company has insights into another area of ​​technology and business potential: the metaverse .

Cheney said the company aims to process more in the metaverse as demand grows. Cheney said Metaverse “can be as simple as just looking at a product on your phone or screen for a complete game that is completely immersive, whether on a computer or a (virtual reality ) headset. “

Metaverse – a more popular term and expansion hub of technology giants like Facebook and Google – can have different meanings to different users. Digital services such as the video game Fortnite and the virtual world Sandbox can be described as metaverse platforms where users can buy and sell digital items or attend online events such as concerts, and other experiences.

While technology companies and other industries are looking to enter this new tech space, Cheney said Seek is an advantage for companies looking to tap into the emerging market for of companies seeking to expand their reach. the metaverse. .

“We can help any brand or business get into the metaverse … in a way that starts engaging their customers in a more positive and meaningful way than ever before.”

‘Seek and you will find’

Cheney said he didn’t get into augmented reality and the metaverse intentionally.

While sitting in the company’s new Lehi office, he said Seek started as Treasure Canyon, a company that conducts treasure hunts where customers pay to participate in the quest. Cheney pointed to a treasure box on a shelf in his office, explaining that it was once filled with a $ 10,000 prize and that dragging it up a mountain to hide it was no small task.

Treasure Canyon changed in 2016 with the release of Pokemon GO, as the highly popular app used augmented reality so users could capture their favorite Pokemon while in their community. Cheney saw the technology at work and wanted to use it in Treasure Canyon, which previously had an app. The change also carries a new name.

“We call the Seek app, like‘ seek and you shall find, ’which is where the name comes from,” said Cheney, referring to the phrase found in the Bible book versions of Matthew and Luke.

The company soon added developers to its staff and began moving towards augmented reality. This shift continues to this day, as Seek continues to emphasize Extended Reality, or XR, which Cheney says could be more broadly defined as the Metaverse.

Augmented reality as a consumer tool

Right now, most of Seek’s business, Cheney said, is driven by its ability to capture its customers ’products and allow a user to view the object in real time.

At his office in Lehi, Cheney called a QR code on his laptop. He scanned the black and white box with his smartphone, and a few moments later a 3D model of a Nespresso coffee machine appeared.

“I never drink coffee, so I don’t really know what it is, but it’s great to listen to,” Brigham Young University graduate Cheney said with a laugh.

On the screen of his phone using his camera, the model can be placed and moved around the room, giving a realistic comparison of the size of what the product would look like if it were actually in the room.

Jon Cheney, CEO of tech company Lehi Seek, talked about the company and where they expect it to be, in an interview Monday.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

For Cheney, one of Seek’s favorite tools for technology is Lego, the popular children’s building toy. At Walmart stores, Seek technology powers QR codes to be found near Legos in the toy aisle. Users just scan the code, and a few moments later, “the Lego set comes alive before you do,” Cheney says.

The augmented reality used by Seek can be used for a variety of products: looking at Lego sets in a store, putting a coffee machine in your kitchen, or seeing if a shelf fits in the room of your child.

Cheney said using this level of technology could be a huge profit for retailers, adding that Nestlé, the parent company of Nespresso and the world’s largest food company, reported that the rate of conversion of its sales tripled for products with Seek’s 3D properties.

Instead of asking users to download an app, the viewing is done through a smartphone’s web browser, making the experience more accessible and easy to see. This is key to the user experience, Cheney said.

“I think that’s really, really important for companies that are trying to deliver these kinds of experiences to their customers, it has to be fast,” he said.

“Don’t even download an app, don’t force them to log in to an account, don’t complicate the process so they can learn something new. One click, and you’re good to go. ”

Metaverse-centric growth

While much of Seek’s business is focused on commerce, Cheney is looking to the future and bringing brands to the metaverse, specifically combining Seek’s management of 3D properties and blockchain technology to enable NFT users to they want a platform.

NFT, which stands for Non-Fungible Tokens, are unique digital works of art that can be in the form of photographs, video, or audio. Unlike the more widespread types of online NFTs that look like works of art and are usually sold for large amounts of money, Cheney says Seek NFTs ’vision has a more tangible use of metaverse.

If you want your Fortnite character to wear a Utah Jazz jersey, you can use Seek’s abilities to purchase an NFT on that jersey and place it on your avatar (as long as a copyright holder allows the typing such an object into this platform for use).

Using blockchain technology, a user can verify the transaction and provide proof of ownership, according to Cheney. The same NFT can also be sold using the technology.

Cheney expects Seek to continue its rapid growth, which is one reason the company has resisted getting to larger groups with an eight-figure deal. So far, Cheney said Seek’s last valuation at which they raised capital was about $ 130 million.

This growth is expected to be in the NFT and blockchain side of the business, as Cheney said, these aspects are expected to grow at a reasonable rate. He believes the future is in using this type of technology to change the way everyday things, like attending a sporting event, can be better.

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