Paracosma is an Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) design, consulting and Systems Integration Company that provides outsourced solutions and skills to both small and large customers, as well as its own in-house products. Its services include content creation, application development, and project implementation across a broad range of AR /VR platforms. Additionally, the company creates its own content in the gaming, entertainment, tourism, enterprise and education/training spaces. Paracosma also has proprietary technology for producing, viewing, managing and distributing 360-degree photo and video content. It is a US Delaware Corporation with headquarters in California, additional sales and technology office in Tokyo and its primary R&D and development center in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Paracosma was founded on a few basic premises. In 2016, 88% of companies were using or planned to use AR/VR. But 63% did not have in-house resources to develop AR/VR projects and fully 55% planned to outsource AR/VR development. Providing a broad range of outsourced services, in the very fast evolving and difficult to master AR/VR industries is Paracosma’s solution to the problem. In house projects both enable cutting edge experimentation as well as the productizing as generic platforms of the main services requested by clients. With employees, clients and revenues tripling each year, few competitors can match the breadth of services and affordable pricing offered by Paracosma.
Paracosma has a broad range of offerings across AR and VR. It has developed an industrial AR platform that is being used for machine maintenance and training for a large global manufacturing company as well as for product assembly and quality assurance for a leading electronics capital equipment manufacturer. The company has also worked on retail AR for a leading home goods retailer and to demonstrate advanced features and in-home viewing of products for an international durable goods manufacturer, produced video holograms for an enterprise AR training application, and marketing and branding AR 3D objects, characters, animations and AR effects for various clients including, a consumer facing mobile application and a national telecommunications company.
Paracosma has developed its own open-ended sandbox VR game, named “Unnamed VR”, launching this year. The setting is a large house in which all objects are interactive and each room offers opportunities for exploration and playing mini-games. These include an adventure room with trampolines, zip lines, and climbing walls, shooting galleries, graffiti spray painting room, and many more. Each of these interactions also serves as the basis for enterprise training and simulation scenarios, which Paracosma is developing with an energy client and talent management company. Paracosma has created VR demos of a smart city command center. It provides photogrammetry reconstructions of major settings such as the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.
The company has also has developed a VR co-presence application that allows multi-user remote collaboration in shared environments for enterprise customers. Paracosma also offers a full range of 360-degree photo and video services including its own in-house production as well as filming and post-production services as well as a whitelabel online and app-based distribution platform for 360 photos and videos.
A Veteran Leader
Ken Ehrhart, the Founder and CEO of Paracosma, has been in technology research for 23 years, a partner in Venture Capital for 19 years and focused on international market expansion for over 9 years. Thus, he brings a wealth of experience in growing early stage companies on a global basis. Paracosma has been built from the start as international company serving the two largest enterprise markets in the world, the US and Japan. With the strong belief in the inevitable ubiquity of AR and VR accessible virtually free through smartphones, but understanding the difficulty of timing breakthrough market expansion, the Founder’s goal has been to build a company with a longterm horizon and broad and deep technical capability, so that it would be positioned for ongoing success as the markets matured.
The Evolution of AR/VR
It has been fascinating to watch the early evolution of the AR/VR marketplace. One and two years ago, most companies realized that they should care about AR/VR but had little conception of what the technology could actually do or how difficult and expensive it could be to implement their vision. From those early days of generic inquiries, clients have matured to a much clearer understanding of the technology and the technology itself is evolving very quickly to catch up to some of those early visions. Providing a low-cost partnership for exploring AR and VR has enabled clients to easily test the technology and experiment and explore the potential for their businesses. Research has shown that once companies begin trying AR/VR, they intend to continue investing in the technologies, while those that have not tried it are far more skeptical. Paracosma provides an affordable access point to realize that value.
Keeping up With Innovation
According to Paracosma, the AR/VR sectors are evolving rapidly with new platforms and innovations coming real fast. This makes it challenging for small in-house teams to keep up with the advancements. With a rapidly expanding team, Paracosma can focus on all major AR and VR platforms and establish new R&D in multiple promising areas. With low-costs, this breadth of focus enables the company to work with clients who have vision for what the technology will enable in the future and to build a longterm partnership that takes advantage of new capabilities as they evolve.
Many competitors are forced to take a narrower, short-term view and miss the opportunity to grow in partnership with their clients as technology catches up to their visions. Currently, the AR/VR technologies are hard to develop, distribute and access. Paracosma is focused on the future where these barriers will fade and is seeking the solutions to make it easy.
The One Stop Shop Approach
Paracosma believes that the AR and VR sectors are notable for a vast array of startup companies. But, due to high capital requirements of traditional technology centers such as Silicon Valley and San Francisco, most AR/VR startups focus on a very narrow segment of the industry and have just a small number of engineers supporting that segment. Because of its low-cost, high-quality offshore development team, Paracosma has been building a larger team focused across more segments. Thus, it can offer clients a full range of services that would not typically be available from a single service provider.
Future of AR/VR
According to Paracosma, the future of AR/VR is virtually limitless. Moreover, the opportunities within these virtual worlds are as broad as the opportunities within the real world. That makes it very difficult to know the future. What aspects of consumers’ and business clients’ experiences will be enhanced and augmented by the addition of virtual elements and which ones remain a real-world focus, is difficult to pre-judge. So, AR/VR companies with a narrow focus may find it difficult to create and maintain a critical mass of business. However, companies with a broad range of skills that remain sustainable due to low costs will have the ability to service the market segments that evolve and thrive, without worrying about betting on the wrong horse.
The future of Paracosma is focused on continued sustained and sustainable growth. In addition to its direct client base, increasingly Paracosma is becoming a low-cost service provider for other AR/VR companies. Additionally, the company is expanding ongoing supplier relationships with its clients. Paracosma has also increased its footprint in Tokyo and anticipates growing revenues from Japan. The third focus will be the launch of VR co-presence collaboration for enterprise clients. Continued expansion of its enterprise AR platform will also be a core focus.