Augmented Reality seems like a world of wizards and nonsense, like some trivial and ephemeral fireworks but there is more. Can you give it some sense beyond 3D artifice? In reality yes, the a great challenge is to take the mystique away while making it useful, simple, common, democratic, fun,and accessible to all.
Emotions AR democratizes the use of augmented reality providing emotional value to its users. They’re also one of Wayra Barcelona’s companies that have presented at the Open Future Showcase in the 4YFN. These are presentation in which only Wayra’s Startups that have taken the most advantage of the acceleration period make their pitch to international investors.
Who you are, what is your background?
We are Carlos Montanyà and Josep Ballesté the cofounders of emotions AR. We’ve been working together for 15 years. We know each other very well, we know our flaws and our virtues. We have always worked in the area of innovation and new product development. We’ve worked on innovation projects with major brands like Mitsubishi Electric, DKV insurance, Nutrexpa, Agrolimen, KH7 and many more. Emotions is a project born from the experience of six years of collaboration with the R + D imaging division of Mitsubishi Electric, one of our major customers.
When and why did you decided to start your own company?
In 2012 while we were collaborating with Mitsubishi Electric, we saw the opportunity to create a new concept that fused together image and video into one single idea. Photos are common elements in our lives, and so are videos, but professional photography has not found a way to take advantage of the concept video to date. We also produce it in a way that is easy and accessible to all. It’s being a stimulating and challenging journey.
What necessity are you in need of solving and why have you decided to invest your time and resources on it?
The photographs are printed memories of our lives but are static and soundproof. The videos are full of movement and sound but can not be printed. The need to print memories is anthropological and actually very feminine. We have managed to print video, or to put it differently, we’ve made it possible for photos to be full of sound and motion using augmented reality. We saw an opportunity and decidedto take it without thinking twice about it.
What stage is your company in and what do you think is the most important thing you have learned so far?
Thanks to Wayra we’ve progressed through the stages very quickly. We have learned a lot in academia. We’ve repeatedly iterated the platform and applications, we’ve improved the user experience, tested the technology in several countries and various customers, and we are now in full production. Currently, our main goal is to scale the business and get photography professionals to enjoy a technology that is easy to use and very versatile. It is crucial to create a team full of talented, committed and friendly people who know how to fight for the project.
How has Wayra helped you during this period? How has being within Telefonica been of use to you? What are your most significant milestones to date? What are your future goals?
Our experience with Wayra has been excellent in every way possible, there is certainly a before and after. Telefónica has been determined to getting to know us, help us, open doors for us and make us feel like a member of their team. We have managed for sales team to become truly interested in the augmented reality application for their clients, and have close our first contracts. A major milestone has been to get approved as suppliers by Telefónica, therefore making us feel like a real partner. Moving forward, we want to grow and help Telefonica’s customers add sound, motion and interactivity to their images.
Are there any lessons or advice you’d like to give to entrepreneurs in earlier stages?
Cash Flow is the most important. You have to secure a minimum Cash Flow that allows you to sustain and develop. The hardest moments for a company are those in which the lack of money makes you feel on edge. You must have the fuel needed to proceed in order to make an idea flourish. “Cash is King” is a good lesson. Additionally, I would suggest obsessing over truly understanding what you are doing and why, and knowing how explain the services you are providing. When they know how to do that, 50% of the project is already established.
Emotions AR Team:
CEO Josep Balleste COO: Carlos Montaña
This is a guest post by Elisa Gomez Pena, a California-native studying International Relations and Economics at Colgate University in New York. She is currently studying abroad in Barcelona, and is also an International Public Relations & Communications intern at Wayra, the startup accelerator for Telefónica. Fascinated by languages and travel, she is on her path of pursuing a career in international business and finance.