Written By: YASHASVI KHUSHU
Paracosma, Revolutionizing Excellence and Innovations in Virtual Reality Realm
“Nick Clinch said ‘someone who is both ineffective and unambitious is irrelevant. Someone effective but with low ambition can be good but not great. An unskilled person with energy can be dangerous. But, the rare people who combine high effectiveness and passion are able to achieve great things’ I believe in this”,
Mr. Ken Ehrhart
The industry of virtual reality is radically underestimated by too many and hyped by a many too, having said that this industry has just started its roller coaster ride and is steadily making its way through the phase of innovations. In the technologically driven era today, virtual reality has established itself in a number of sectors and industries that boast of verticals like Defence, science, entertainment, communications, designing etc.
An Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) design, consulting and systems integration company, Paracosma Inc. provides solutions and skills to both small and large customers. Their services include content creation, application development, and project implementation across a broad range of AR & VR platforms.
In a conversation with Business Connect Magazine, Ken Ehrhart, Founder & CEO, Paracosma Inc., gives a little tour about his venture and how besides AR/VR designs, they also create their own content in the gaming, entertainment, tourism, enterprise, and education/training spaces and have proprietary technology for producing, viewing, managing and distributing 360-degree photo and video content.
Business Connect: How do you feel you are different from your competitors?
Mr. Ken: Paracosma has a large high-quality, low-cost development center in Kathmandu, Nepal, which allows it to build broad and deep capability across a wider range of AR and VR services, on more platforms than most other AR/VR companies. Companies can start with us on their earliest stages of experimentation and continue through initial Proof of Concept, Minimum Viable Product and on to Full Deployment, all in a very cost-effective and efficient process.
Business Connect: Did everything come easy, or you have your story of struggle?
Mr. Ken: Most (other) companies have experienced struggle in the AR and VR markets as in many cases they misjudged the ramp of the market and customers, often overspending or shutting down. On the other hand, from the beginning, we have focused on the long-term market for AR/VR, which requires particular discipline to maintain efficiency for the long-term.
Business Connect: What kind of clients do you serve?
Mr. Ken: We have clients that are using both VR and AR for executive development and training. We have others using Industrial AR for machine maintenance, operations, and training as well as assembly and test applications. We are developing a VR surgery application. And, have developed VR demos and AR effects for marketing and trade shows. Other clients are focused on retail and home goods.
Business Connect: How do you ensure unbreakable faith of clients in your company?
Mr. Ken: Each of our client relationships begins with a very honest appraisal of where AR and VR technology is today and whether or not it can deliver the client’s vision. In many cases, their vision is ahead of the technology. It is then our role to assess whether we can innovate the solutions they desire. We often start with a very low-cost proof of concept, in which we are invested as much as the client because we have the philosophy that each project enables us to build our knowledge, skills, and capabilities. Thus, our clients can view us as collaborators rather than mere vendors.
Business Connect: How do you keep pace with the changing market trends?
Mr. Ken: We have dedicated teams for AR, VR, 360 video, back-end cloud services, and a large Art department. Within each of those, we also have specialists in major platforms. If there is a new device, like Magic Leap AR goggles, we stand up a team to focus on that device. But, they work in concert with our HoloLens team and iOS and Android AR teams. All our engineers are constantly learning and experimenting with the latest technologies and innovations.
Business Connect: Do you believe R&D is essential for the growth of the company?
Mr. Ken: We target R&D resources to long-term projects with no immediate commercial potential. Our engineers are both inventing our own technology and seeking to rapidly intergrade a broad array of new technologies.
Business Connect: Do you still come back to work with the same zeal, like you did when you started?
Mr. Ken: It has been incredibly stimulating to work at the cutting edge of technologies and business models across a broad array of industry sectors. AR and VR have the same excitement of focus on the newest innovations, but it adds the essential creativity of Art and the boundless diversity not only of all Life but anything that is yet to be imagined.
Business Connect: In terms of your market, what do you feel the future holds for entrepreneurs?
Mr. Ken:Imagine the economic scope of every activity in life that involves vision or experience, from travel, to leisure to interpersonal relationships, every industry from healthcare to real estate, everything we buy from furniture to entertainment, new frontiers in space or under the sea; potentially all of that activity will be enhanced by AR or duplicated in VR. The scope of entrepreneurial opportunity in AR and VR will be inconceivably large.
Business Connect: How necessary do you feel it is to keep your employees content, how do you ensure it?
Mr. Ken: The best AV and VR simply is not possible without a team effort. Teams are only as effective as their passion and enthusiasm. Contentment is the baseline requirement, motivation is critical. The best means we have to generate motivation is through sharing a compelling vision for what we are doing and why we are doing it. To inspire our team that the opportunity in front of us is more compelling than any other opportunity.
Business Connect: Who is your role model in the business/entrepreneurial world and what have you learned from the person?
Mr. Ken: Nick Clinch has been recognized as one of the greatest ever Expedition Leaders. His climbing expeditions were successful Worldwide, he was also an author, bibliophile, and philanthropist. Nick would say that people can be measured both by their capability and will power. His career and interests were shaped by both high capability and great enthusiasm. He was a great leader. But, he never sought credit.
Business Connect: How are you giving back to society (CSR, if any)?
Mr. Ken: We co-founded the VR for Good Conference with VR Voice, focused on raising awareness of, support for and impact from the benefits that VR can bring to individuals, societies, and humanity, whether through empathy driving charity action, healthcare, social and cultural experiences. We are also beginning an AR and VR project to increase tsunami awareness and safety.
Business Connect: Apart from work, what else do you like to spend your time doing?
Mr. Ken: I live and work in the US, Japan, and Nepal. I am typically traveling when not working, a big part of my life is focused on multicultural and multinational activity. But, the most important thing is spending additional time with my family.
Business Connect: What are the achievements and milestones of the company?
Mr. Ken: Each year we have had significant growth in Clients, Revenues and Employees. In addition to our US headquarters, we have wholly owned subsidiary companies in Nepal and Japan. We will be launching several new solutions in the marketplace that we believe will be well received. We are also expanding our VR training focus in both healthcare and logistics. We also have bagged a number of titles like, “10 Most Innovative AR & VR Companies to Watch in 2018” The Technology Headlines Magazine, “10 Fastest Growing AR/VR Technology Solution Providers to Watch in the Year-2018” APAC Business Headlines, “The 10 Most Evolutionary AR/VR Solution Providers to Look For In 2019” Mirror Review Magazine and many more.
Mr. Ken believes that the value of AR and VR solutions is Real and here today across a number of industries that are seeing direct ROI from their AR/VR initiatives. Surveys show that 100% of the companies that have tried AR or VR are planning additional future investment. For those companies that have not yet tried it, Paracosma offers high value, cost-effective assistance in getting started. They are ready to assist your company in achieving Real results from your Virtual initiatives.
‘Making Augmented and Virtual Reality as good as Reality is not enough, Our Vision is to make Augmented and Virtual Realities better than Reality, Our Mission is to make Reality better through Augmented and Virtual Reality”,
Mr. Ken Ehrhart.
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