Why I Joined Spatial

The advent of the coronavirus propelled students worldwide from on campus and onto Zoom. For me, and many others, college learning quickly became more dull and less interactive.

Despite our best efforts to further integrate video chatting softwares like Zoom and Google Meet into our communication routines, they still fall very short of the immersivity and efficiency of in-person collaboration. This Fall, most students from kindergarten to college are continuing to endure these pitfalls of modern online-learning. And for those already in the workforce, the surge of working-from-home probably isn’t temporary.

How can we better virtually connect and collaborate with each other? Spatial’s solution is to build a holographic collaboration platform. They believe augmented reality (AR) hardware will offer a more authentic and personal virtual communication experience.

I know what you’re thinking - few people even have AR/VR headsets so what’s the point? While that's a valid concern, I think times are quickly changing. I believe the mainstream adoption of AR/VR headsets has been hindered by the hardware’s high prices and low comfort; however, I’ve noticed several different companies are combating these shortcomings and some are promising. The big tech companies Microsoft, Google, Facebook and, more secretly, Apple have been working hard recently to gain more footing in the AR industry. Notably, I anticipate that Apple’s purported future release of AR eyeglasses within the next couple of years will lead an unprecedented uptick in consumer interest.

Broadly, I believe that AR/VR headsets will replace all of our displays - TVs, cell phones, laptops, etc - in the next decade. Spatial’s platform is device-agnostic, allowing users to communicate with each other on a wide array of supported headsets, as well as by web or mobile. Therefore, as the hardware develops and new companies arise, Spatial will be the platform to unify their consumers.

Sure, Spatial is working on cool stuff but why else did you join?

When looking for jobs, I mostly prioritize three attributes: learning opportunity, impact opportunity and company trajectory. So here’s some more background on Spatial.

Co-founders Anand Agarawala and Jinha Lee are both pioneers in 3D computer interfaces who met while presenting TED talks on their respective works: BumpTop (acquired by Google) and SpaceTop. In 2016, they left Google and Samsung respectively to create Spatial. Since then they’ve hired about 25 employees and accrued over $22M in funding from VCs and innovators like Macintosh co-creator Andy Hertzfeld, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger and Zynga founder Mark Pincus. So they’ve got a talented founding team and experienced investors.

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SpaceTop UI, by Jinha Lee

Already Spatial has gained partnerships with enterprises looking to use the product, including toy designer Mattel, banking giant BNP Paribas, and the multinational energy corporation Enel Group. Not to mention Spatial holds a strong reputation and several collaborations with major AR/VR products, like Microsoft Hololens 2, Oculus Quest, Magic Leap One, and more. So they’ve got a lot of traction in the industry.

And of course, at a software company working at the forefront of the Extended Reality revolution with a big future and a small team, there’s ample opportunity to contribute.

My past experiences have all involved established companies with thousands of employees. I believe a shift to interning at a promising and well-funded startup with a small, talented team would offer me even more opportunity for learning, impact and ownership.

In a nutshell: