For the last two years, growth in the number of extremely powerful mobile devices has also accelerated the market with interactive 3D presentations. Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies are growing exponentially in an unprecedented boom. It is anticipated that in the near future every manufacturer will want to present, operate or at least service their product by a mobile 3D/AR/VR device.
Human capacities for production of such complex applications will, naturally, be limited, so a software simplifying this process will be very much in demand – and it will also reduce costs.
Ixworx, a Slovak technology development and implementation studio, has been developing and refining their own remarkable software tool for creating interactive applications for 3D product presentations or for interactive manuals.
The idea to create interactive 3D presentations and manuals for mobile platforms came to ixworx founder Slavo Hazucha while he was in hospital for the birth of his first son. His son was born prematurely. The top-class hospital owned a modern incubator, but it was a smaller hospital and the incubator was not used very often. For a while the doctors and the rest of the staff were not sure how to use it correctly and they started consulting the 300-page manual. Slavo noticed several smart devices in the room, phones and tablets among them – and then it occurred to him. How useful would it be if one of the phones carried a 3D picture of the incubator with instructions how to use all its functions?
Situations like this one, when we are surrounded by more and more complex technologies and devices that have to be operated by people with a different training or by non-professionals, occur almost every day.
Because Slavo had started several gaming companies in the past, he already had his team of people knowledgeable about 3D and working well together. This was the basis for ixworx, created at the end of 2014 with support from the venture capital fund Neulogy Ventures. Among the first customers to have interactive 3D applications for their products built by ixworx was, for example, a Slovak company GA Drilling. Ixworx designed the interactive 3D application for their Plazmabit technology which shortened the explanation time from 20 to 2 minutes. The interactive application for Praga sports car manufacturer is a presentation, interactive manual and a communication platform to service the car.
Ixworx soon hit obstacles in 3D data conversion and optimization. Data are coming from the customers in a complex CAD format and they need to be converted to more simple format to be used on mobile devices. It can sometimes take the whole month for a graphic designer to do it manually. And so ixworx started to look for a more time-effective solution. They decided to create another software tool that would optimize 3D data from the manufacturer and reduce the designer’s work from one month to several days – saving over 70% of time.
Since 2016, partly due to the Pokémon GO game, augmented reality became hugely popular and even bigger boom was predicted for the interactive 3D market across all industries. Ixworx came to realize that the software they were creating for themselves could be used all over the world.
Predictions about the market growing exponentially are confirmed by recent acquisition of Simplygon by Microsoft. Simplygon is developing software for simpler 3D data conversion. Microsoft’s plans are to use this software exclusively. As a result, Simplygon customers are already showing interest in the ixworx product. Their product is for manufacturers of all devices creating 3D, AR or VR applications and for the agencies working for them.
In the moment, there is no direct competitor on the market – since Slavo’s team has a considerable advantage from the 3D gaming industry. The head programmer Andrej Vakrčka is among the best programmers of 3D gaming engines. Besides technology, there are other roles on the team – business developer Martina Drahošová was named among 100 top challengers from Central and Eastern European countries by the New Europe 100, which is a project supported by Google and the Financial Times, among others.
Ixworx works together with the equity investing platform Crowdberry to speed up the development and the launch of their 3D data conversion software. This is already the second time that Crowdberry successfully represented ixworx in looking for private investors.