How we got the idea for the Circuit Stream Platform: Software for scaling spatial computing
Last Updated: September 17 2019
This is the first of an ongoing series of posts called Accelerate XR where we share our methods and learnings with the aim to help people and to learn from others who have had similar experiences.
Today we're launching Circuit Stream’s Platform; Software designed to make it easier to set up, manage, launch and scale your spatial computing applications on major engines like Unity.
In the fall of 2015, I set out on a journey to figure out what the most important thing was for the VR and AR (XR for short) ecosystem.
I drove through the four West coast XR hubs Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco and LA interviewing developers from Valve, Oculus, Microsoft, Google and Unity, plus dozens of startups, who were pushing XR forward.
At the time, there was a group of pioneers creating the first wave of virtual reality content, but for someone with no experience, there was limited guidance to help you reach your goals in the industry.
What did XR need?
My aim was to create educational programs covering the best tools, processes and workflows offering a foundation in XR development and design.
I believed the only way to learn anything was to get hands-on and build your own ideas. So sessions each week were dedicated to 1:1 support helping you prototype new XR applications and delivering knowledge that you can use right away.
Unity was the industry leading software with the most powerful frameworks and was free to download. With over 60% of commercial XR apps made in the engine, technical training in Unity offered a skill set relevant to the demands of the industry and it was the obvious choice.
We've since become XR certified instructors and a Unity authorized training partner.
My goal with education was to genuinely help people while Circuit Stream could grow, improve and continue supporting new XR developers.
Fundamentally I thought this was a good idea: educating more developers = faster growth for the ecosystem.
And personally, as someone with notebooks filled with ideas, this was the kind of course that I would want to take.
Something surprising began to happen. We started to get large companies in our course who were building extremely interesting projects. It started small at first, curious engineers from Boeing, GE and Raytheon took the certificate program to validate ideas they had in mind.
Over time, entire teams started enrolling. Designers, project managers and engineers from different departments were all looking to learn how to build spatial computing applications.
Currently, we are proud to be teaching organizations like Lockheed Martin, VMWare and the US Navy to name a few.
Our foundation for XR development course has become a testing ground. Supporting XR enterprise projects, combined with helping developers and designers push the boundaries of computing. It has been a fascinating journey for our team helping our students successfully build and realize their ideas.
Last year, we extended our services to XR software development. This has been a frequent request from market leaders interested in XR, but unsure how to identify a use-case. Or after validating a pilot, wanting to prove results for further investment.
By working directly with companies to build XR applications and supporting them with educational resources, we started to see some common themes evolve.
THE CIRCUIT STREAM PLATFORM
After spending hundreds of hours listening to engineers, data scientists, IT and business system analysts, operations and training managers, heads of innovation and digital transformation leads in a range of industries, we discovered another need for XR:
Counter to the requirements of the organizations above, I observed dozens of content creation shops building standalone spatial computing applications.
By deploying these applications to a single site companies can save training costs, reduce operational downtime, eliminate material waste and generally increase productivity, uncovering new ROI for the business.
But from an operational perspective, the second you scale to more sites, users, or business functions it's data management hell.
How do you manage all your hardware, software, IP, processes and data? This is a major pain point for a large organization.
That's why we built the Circuit Stream Platform.
At its core, Circuit Stream is enterprise software that enables companies to setup, manage, launch and scale spatial computing applications on major engines like Unity.
The Circuit Stream Platform securely hosts all your XR data in the cloud under one umbrella easily accessible by developers, business managers and users.
Users can login to access and run their applications from the cloud directly to 7+ headsets, managers can quickly and easily pull a report on key metrics, and developers can make changes in the industry's most powerful XR engine, Unity, and publish updates across their company.
Throughout my journey, I also learned that successful deployments need cross-functional support from software development, to cloud, to data management to security, and more.
Since then, we've assembled a team of extremely bright experts across all core disciplines and invested in becoming ISO 27001 certified -- an industry standard for enterprise-grade security. All these components come together with years of experience planning and building XR applications to ensure we're setting you up for success at scale, whatever your use-case.
I am very excited to let you know we have a handful of select partners signed up for the Circuit Stream private beta including INVISTA and Vantage Airport Group who are helping us determine what a robust cross-platform XR solution looks like.
Today we are launching public beta applications at CircuitStream.com/platform.
Our public beta is opening with an inaugural presentation on enterprise XR at one of the industry's best events: EWTS run by our friends over at BrainXchange.
EWTS is where the seed of the idea was planted by a group of innovative companies saying to us "this is the solution we need", and is the perfect place to share our product with the industry.
I believe strongly in this problem: if you're building XR, you need tools to help with device setup, deploying applications into your team's hands, data and IP management, and analytics on the value you're creating, all combined with enterprise level support and security.
At Circuit Stream, our mission is to accelerate spatial computing. We're going to continue building software and services that we think genuinely create value for the ecosystem, our students and customers.
Whether you have 10 users or 10,000 I think the new Circuit Stream Platform does that.
Sign up for the public beta and let us know if we've made scaling easy.
We'll be bringing a handful of people on each month as we scale the system up slowly.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Do you have an idea or a Unity app in production? Have you deployed an experience? Was it successful? Are there things you would have done differently? I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.