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Trace: Empowering Users to Seamlessly Integrate AR Content into Real-world Settings

Image Credits: Trace
By: Headliners News / May 16, 2024

Back in 2015, Greg Tran, Martin Smith, and Sean Couture joined the ranks of Magic Leap, riding the wave of excitement surrounding the augmented reality (AR) company. With its secretive aura and groundbreaking in-device footage, Magic Leap captured the tech world‘s imagination, culminating in a massive $827 million funding round.

However, the journey that followed was less straightforward. Despite its substantial funding and high expectations, Magic Leap struggled to find its footing in the market. By 2020 and 2021, Tran, Couture, and Smith had parted ways with the company, each seeking new avenues to explore their AR expertise.

Thus, Trace was born in 2021, with Tran as CEO, Smith as CTO, and Couture leading 3D art. Fueled by their experiences at Magic Leap, the startup focuses on building location-based branded AR experiences, aiming to simplify a notoriously complex content creation process.

Tran has gone to explain that it is really hard to make AR content, while being early in the ecosystem. And, although there were a lot of partners with Magic Leap. Whenever they wanted to make content, it would take three to six months, that’s where the team at Trace saw an opportunity to make that process a whole lot easier.

While Trace may not boast Magic Leap’s billion-dollar funding, it’s already making waves. With just a handful of employees and a $2 million pre-seed funding round led by Rev1 Ventures and Impellent Ventures, Trace has secured partnerships with industry giants like Qualcomm, Telefónica, T-Mobile, and Lenovo.

One notable project was the AR experience built for Deutsche Telekom at Mobile World Congress, showcasing Trace’s potential to deliver immersive digital experiences. The company’s creator app, likened to a “Squarespace for AR experiences,” empowers users to seamlessly integrate AR content into real-world settings.

Although the creator app is currently in a private beta phase, Trace plans to launch it to the public in the coming months. Through a subscription-based model, businesses will gain access to tools for crafting compelling AR experiences.

While Trace acknowledges its consumer-facing potential, its initial focus remains geared toward their enterprise clients. Their team is focused on some of the enterprise-level partners first, although this is more of a consumer-facing product, they do see that there is more opportunity in the enterprise space right currently. With a blend of innovation and practicality, Trace seems poised to carve out its niche in the evolving AR industry space.

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