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Brian Mullins

Founder, DAQRI

Brian Mullins, CEO and founder of DAQRI an augmented reality company, wants you to imagine you need surgery.

“And let’s say there are only four doctors who have ever performed the procedure,” Mullins details. “But they’re all really far away. There isn’t time to travel — you need surgery now.”

What if your trembling surgeon could put on a DAQRI Smart Helmet — whose visor projects digital information onto the real world — and instantly access facts? What if they could not only hear one of those four experts speak, but also see them draw on their field of vision the way an anchor draws on Monday morning spots recaps?

“Augmented reality provides the rapid transfer of information,” he explains. “It blurs the line between what you know and what you potentially know.

Los Angeles-based DAQRI is a wearable computer where the screen is your real life. It’s an IRL version of Neo’s ability to immediately fly helicopters in The Matrix, and, by evaporating limits in human ability, it will change the way we work. Let’s dive in.

Know how to do anything in an instant

“IT’S BEST IF I explain with another example,” Mullins continues. “Take wind turbines. They’re often located in remote, tough to reach places — like the side of a steep hill, or in the middle of an ocean.”

It can takes hours, even days, for an engineer to reach (and then climb) one of these bad boys.

“Once they’re there, an engineer might have 600 things they’re responsible for checking and fixing. Maybe 50 of them are routine tasks, but the rest are issues they’ve never seen before — issues only faced once or twice in a career. You’ve traveled all this way, and now you can’t finish the job.”

In this instance, DAQRI’s Smart Helmet can provide three things: one, prerecorded, step by step 4D instructions; two, access to a remote expert who can jump in and circle the exact piece that needs fixing; three, the ability to visualize data in real time (ex: a thermal sensor that says, “Yo bro, that lever’s really hot. Don’t touch it.”)

“Augmented reality inoculates workers against the idea of limits,” Mullins says. “The concept of not knowing how to do something just vanishes. It drastically lowers human error while skyrocketing productivity — and that can change the way we work forever.”

The applications for DAQRI’s technology are seemingly limitless: Just imagine medical students being shown complex procedures — without the use of a cadaver. Or a welder bestowing their craft in a less dangerous (and less visually bright) environment. Even you, the consumer, can see a potential purchase’s carbon footprint without touching your cell phone.

Changing The Way We Work

Augmented reality inoculates workers against the idea of artificial limits... That idea of not knowing how to do something.”
Brian Mullins - Founder of DAQRI

IF YOU’RE ANYTHING LIKE US, you want to know: How can I get an augmented reality Smart Helmet?

“Augmented reality — that screenless hybrid of real and virtual life — is different than virtual reality, which relies on a ‘desktop’ to place you inside an alternate existence,” Mullins confides. “Augmented reality builds on top of your existing world, and that’s probably three to five years out from becoming a consumer product. The average person isn’t going to spend $10k.”

But if you think about it, it’s not unlike cellphones.

“When cell phones first came out, they weren’t even the bricks we make fun of today,” he remembers. They were the size of a briefcase, and they cost thousands of dollars. Now you can buy an iPhone, a multi-processing computer, for $500.”

While DAQRI waits for prices to come down, Mullins is focused on industrial applications — like Germany’s Vinci Energies and Kazakhstan’s KSP Steel.

“But what I’m really focused on is redefining the idea of work,” Mullins concludes. “Because it’s more than labor. It’s more than a job. It’s how we leave our mark on the world. And if I can enable people to do that with confidence — without the fear of limits — that, to me, is success.”

Visit their website for a taste of the disruption, and check out our interview with Daqri investor D.A. Wallach.

Becoming A Consumer Product

Augmented reality — that screenless hybrid of real life and virtual life — is different than virtual reality.”


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