It is no secret that Augmented Reality is where the money is pouring into right now. As things stand, the business incentive screams in an AR monosyllabic tone, with virtual reality companies shouldering for their place under the AR Sun.
Among the more successful ones is Jaunt XR, a California-based primarily VR-oriented money-raising machine. The latest news from the company confirms the transition to AR. The shift is not without its casualties though, as Jaunt XR reportedly had to let go of a hefty chunk of its staff. The official reason for the Jaunt staff cut is straightforward and rests on ‘an effort to realign Jaunt for continued success’.
‘Today we had to make some difficult decisions’ reads the company statement. ‘We are restructuring the company, resulting in letting go of a significant portion of our staff’. Jaunt XR remains silent as to the number of these employees, while doing its best to laud their expertise:
‘It was a difficult day at Jaunt as we are losing some of the most amazing talent in the industry, each of whom made groundbreaking contributions to the company and the industry as a whole’.
The Jaunt staff cut is not a shady affair. They are indeed rather open about it, and had even suggested it through the business side of things. In future plans, Jaunt will focus its strengths on Augmented Reality and Volumetric capture technology, the latter taking full swing through Jaunt XR Platform. The let-go, on any significant scale, is unfortunate as it probably precedes the shutdown of at least some of companies’ projects. Jaunt XR even admits that a wind-down of VR projects is under way. Content services will face the same destiny. Of course, the current clients and contracts will be respected in full to make the transition as smooth as timely possible.
This is not the first time that Jaunt XR has changed course. Founded in 2013, the virtual reality company has previously made its name by holding VR torch. The company’s initial efforts resulted in creating Jaunt One, an industry-defining professional VR 3D Camera. The company’s course was then settled, made all the more convenient by a $65 million Disney-led round of funding.
The cinematic VR path was to be sailed with the new captain on board, now former CEO George Kliavkoff. He was replaced a month ago by Mitzi Reaugh, who had previously served as the company vice president of business development. Further changes to management included Arthur van Hoff, jaunt XR founding CTO, who updated his LinkedIn profile indicating that his departure is imminent by the year’s end.
‘We are eternally grateful for all of their groundbreaking hard work’, Jaunt staff cut report further reads. It reads too, that ’we are excited about the future of immersive content and technology’. Both are likely true, and the bold decision to change course is more often a sign of strength then of weakness. And all the business predictions point that it was the decision well made.