South African startup bizAR Reality, a software development company that specialises in augmented and virtual reality (VR) solutions, started life in a garage four years ago. Now it develops immersive software for mobile devices, virtual reality headsets and augmented reality smart glasses for some of the world’s biggest companies.
Though it started small, bizAR Reality always had grand goals, and the startup has worked with some of the world’s largest brands, including Avatar Agency, Nestle, AIG, Adidas and Burger King.
“We are driven towards creating futuristic, sustainable and immersive experiences for both businesses and individuals in South Africa,” sales and marketing director Richard Melvin told Disrupt Africa.
“When we started the company, augmented and virtual reality were terms that felt like science fiction to many South Africans. We saw this as an opportunity to travel abroad to places like Silicon Valley, Argentina and Finland to get a better understanding of what was happening abroad.”
By strategically analysing the overseas markets, the founding team was able to identify opportunities in South Africa and used this knowledge to build a thriving business. This was boosted by some seed funding in 2015, with bizAR reality since then funded by its revenues.
The company has reached a number of impressive milestones.
“In 2015, we were the first company to develop an AR to VR Content Management System (CMS) for mobile applications, allowing us to offer both augmented and virtual reality capabilities in one application that could be updated in real-time, without waiting for approvals by the relevant app stores,” Melvin said.
2018 proved a particularly promising year, which won a host of awards for its applications, but it is always looking to adapt.
“As technology advances, so should we. After many years of research and development, our dynamic team has designed and developed one of Africa’s first remote expert system using augmented reality smart glasses. Due to its popularity and growth potential, a strategic decision was made to branch the product off from bizAR Reality into its own company brand called FusionBloc,” said Melvin.
The startup foresees further growth as technologies such as VR continue to grow exponentially, which they will do due to the fact they have numerous applications and value-adding benefits across multiple industries.
“Therefore, bizAR Reality operates on a project-based level having done projects for numerous companies across varying industries, ranging from mining to fast food chains,” Melvin said.
“Currently, our augmented reality smart solution is tailored towards connecting field technicians with remote experts and we are in the process of developing the software solution to cater for both warehouses picking and workflow processes. Our vision for FusionBloc smart glass technology includes rolling the system out into South Africa and then to rapidly expand across the African continent.”