As a teenager Landon Nickerson earned millions as a YouTube gamer, with up to 4 million subscribers watching his Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft videos. In 2019 he gave that up to found his AR platform startup ARKH. Last week he announced something new that could prove game-changing: his company’s 50/50 joint venture with UK-based Litho Holdings LLC.
As part of the multi-million-dollar deal, ARKH acquired 95 percent of Litho’s AR hardware assets, tooling, and product IP, Forbes reports. ARKH will now have exclusive rights to sell Litho’s AR controllers under its own branding. Litho will continue to focus on developing its AR filmmaking app, Diorama.
“The AR controller is to augmented reality as the mouse is to modern computing.” Nickerson said in a statement announcing the joint venture.
Nickerson says “most people have been exposed to some of what AR has to offer, but very few understand the amazing things that are made possible when you have an AR controller on your hand.”
$5.7 million seed round closed
ARKH raised $3.7 million in February to close its seed round with a total funding of $5.7 million, Nickerson announced at the time, saying his company had received a valuation of $40 million.
The 22-year-old Nickerson believes the field is wide open. ARKH plans to begin shipping AR hardware and software products this summer.
ARKH will leverage the hardware and software acquired from the deal with the ARKH AR controller and the new ARKH developer kit, “to empower developers and the community to create one-of-a-kind AR experiences that users can monetize and share with others on the platform, all of which will ultimately come to life on ARKH’s social AR Platform,” the company said.
AR-powered wearable ring
ARKH says it will be “defining the future of AR” with its releases this summer. The company is creating a novel AR smart ring, and says it has developed the first standalone spatial computer for personal use, along with what it calls the world’s first social networking AR platform.
The wearable ring will work with a desktop hub and an app.
The hub will map virtual assets onto physical spaces while the ring acts as a virtual controller, almost like a computer mouse. The app will work with AR-enabled smartphone cameras, giving users the ability to create their own personalized, sharable spaces.
“Not a single AR play that I’ve seen is going after AR in the same way,” he told Forbes. “In five years, I believe everyone will understand the benefit of spatial computing and data.”
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