The fintech startup ARYZE interviewed co-founder Daniel Kindstrand from the Swedish technology company HeroSight about changes in the field of Augmented Reality and where he sees the development and emerging markets in this area.
Daniel Kindstrand has worked with military medical training and has experience from conflict journalism in Haiti, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Iraq on top of a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship in Sweden. Together with co-founder Joakim Andersson, an experienced HoloLens and Unity developer, he founded HeroSight. With his intellectual background, gaming technology, existing AR and journalistic storytelling skills, he is trying to drive the ongoing digitalization of the healthcare system.
How do you see the development of Augmented Reality in the last five years?
“In the last five years, we have seen some major advances in the field of AR, with the most successful adaptation being the mobile chat application SnapChat.
However in the more professional field concerning wearable AR devices, Microsoft has paved the way by creating the consumer grade standard for wearable AR.
Now we have more and more companies developing their own wearable AR glasses like Magic Leap, Apple and Google which only proves that the expected market for consumer grade AR will increase dramatically during the next few years. If we take a look at how Virtual Reality’s market growth has developed during the 5 years since we got the first consumer grade headset I can only expect wearable AR to have the same or heavier effect.”
Which sector will be influenced the most by AR (and you can’t say emergency education AR)?
“Human interaction with software solutions. Machines and people will soon be working closer together than ever before. Software has thus far been limited to screens and devices. In a few years, these screens will start to be replaced by AR glasses and lenses that can project holograms inside our world. Such availability will revolutionize software and manufacture supported decisions. To illustrate, thought-controlled software already exists to some extent today and in the future, we might have the power to project our very thoughts into existence!”
How do you see the AR sector evolving in the next 20 years?
“20 years is an enormous amount of time in technology and we tend to overestimate technology achievements in the short run and underestimate them in the long run. Does it sound wrong? Try to go back in time and tell yourself about all the things we have 10-20 years ahead? We have advanced at an amazing pace. I think we will live in a completely new world in which boundaries between software and reality is flattened out greatly by technologies such as AR. Speaking about education there is a clear separation between theory and practice today.
With new technologies emerging, I think the role of the human mind, especially in professional settings will with time be altered in order to solve other problems. To visualise this I would use the paper calendar or the physical calculator as examples, which I am old enough to remember and young enough to experience being quickly replaced by smartphones. I think we will view desktop computers and cell phones in the future like we view the calculator and paper calendars now. Cloud access to real time processing power will provide revolutionary access to software needs at any time and place. The idea of phones might still be around as a device to get access the cloud but I doubt it will be the primary UX unit. Digital solutions such as AR hardware and AR software will have reached a wide adoption among consumers and professionals due to the benefits of accessing information on the go.
Pushing further I view the development of thought controlled software in combination with AR a groundbreaking era for creativity. Such a combination will enable us to use fantasy for creating algorithms of the future. At a basic level the knowledge to code will not be needed, rather creativity will be at the center since this is the area in which AI will have problems outperforming humans.”
What is it like starting a small company working with technology?
“Working with AR technology as a rapidly emerging market has been a challenge in external communication with customers, investors, the innovation system, business advisors, mentors etc. as it all boils down to how much human relations believes in you and your ability to pull it off. The hard part is to learn where the priorities are. A good thing to remember is that regardless of health or tech startups “Threat is what kills first” meaning only the most threatening problems are relevant to solve today.”
Not learning from a mistake would be the worst mistake
This is your first company and the field does not relate to your previous experiences. Why did you start with something so different?
“On the contrary, it has ALL to do what I did before. Being a sailor on tanker and container ships led me to repeatedly train fire drills and conflict journalism led me to train military trauma simulations. Experience from multiple risk intense environments is the very foundation from which HeroSight has emerged, greatly with the help of academic tools provided at the Lund University Master program of Entrepreneurship, new venture creation.
I believe an entrepreneurial journey should be partly personal to fuel the authentic passion for an idea. In journalism, my main drives were injustice in societies and these were mostly found internationally especially in conflict-related settings. When being a journalist I went out to talk to people in Iraq, Ukraine, Haiti, people from the refugee crisis in Europe. I compiled my information and wrote an article about it. An article is not a solution. In the end, I got fed up with just writing about issues without solutions. Being an entrepreneur with this background, I can not only address an issue but I have to go all in to solve it. Having the spider-in-the-net-role, being the project leader and problem solver completes me. This is my call.”
What is the biggest mistake you have made as a tech entrepreneur?
“It is hard to tell exactly since many decisions can not be evaluated until the very end of the entrepreneurial journey. Navigating in the waters of uncertainties, an agile and iterative tech environment I think not learning from a mistake would be the worst mistake. Meaning repeating a mistake. I have made mistakes such as expecting huge and fast support from the innovation system to learn that vision and passion comes with a price; entrepreneurial overconfidence. This will happen again but by constantly learning and implementing personal routines to become more critical towards my own beliefs and gut feeling, especially in risky sectors by consulting triple opinions, such things are reduced to a minimum.”
The full capacity of the internet has not been reached yet
What has been the best experience being a tech entrepreneur?
“Definitely the journey of learning. I have learnt more in a year than I learnt in total during my six years at the university. I have previously feared that I missed the creativity revolution when the internet was introduced but I know now the full capacity of the internet has not been reached yet. There are tons of things to do and countless problems needing innovative solutions.
In the end, it is all about exposing yourself to chance. If never exposed, participating in occasional activities, meeting new people, etc. you can easily end up outside the path forward making you feel powerless with waning arguments. I have met an enormous amount of committed and passion driven like-minded people and encourage those that want some sort of change to get out and do the same. The inspirational conversations I have had about cutting-edge creativeness is something I greatly appreciate and get inspired by. It propels me forward and brings me much joy.”
What is your best advice for entrepreneurs in the technology sector?
- Skill diversity boosts trust within the team resulting in enhanced out-off-the-box creativity, enable soft money funding and increased chances of investments.
- Don’t be scared of making bold decisions. Getting from point A to point G might not be completely correct but at point G you know much more and you are now close to H.
- If you are looking for something, like co-founders, ask everyone including bad matches, since these are likely to know at least another good candidate.
- Effectuation, Effectuation, Effectuation.
HeroSight has optimized a basic training and simulation training for emergency forces with Augmented Reality technology. During spring 2019, HeroSight won the Game Changer Award in the Venture Cup regional finals with their AR simulation training. If you want to learn more about technology, check out our other blog posts.