Campfire Raises $8 Million for Mixed Reality Headset System for Product Design and Collaboration
California-based startup Campfire came out of stealth this week and announced that it had raised $8 million in venture capital for an integrated hardware and software platform that aims to simplify remote product design and collaboration.
The platform will include a mixed reality headset that will be VR and AR-capable. It will also include a tracking device, accessory that transforms smartphones into motion controllers as well as software that connects together all of these between the remote users.
Campfire seed investment came from Kli Capital, OTV, Tuesday Capital along with some unspecified investors. The company’s turnkey system for immersive collaboration will allow teams to remotely review and discuss 3D models they use in architecture, product design, and other use-cases.
The Campfire Mixed Reality headset reportedly has a 92-degree field of view. It is also convertible between the Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality modes via a visor that blocks the transparency for the VR mode. The Campfire MR headset directly uses some of the patents acquired when Meta went under in 2019 and you will see the optics closely resemble those of the Meta AR headset.
However, Campfire is going further and offering more than just a headset. It is also providing a complete immersive collaboration solution.
The system features the ‘Console’. This is a cross-shaped device that seems to work as tracker for the VR headset as well as a way of providing a centralized origin for all the remote participants. The concept is smart and simple at the same time. With the console being the center marker for the virtual collaboration space, all the participants in the space are anchored around a common origin, enabling everyone to get the feeling of walking around the shared space when the 3D models are rendered.
Instead of developing its own motion controllers for the virtual reality headset, Campfire is providing an accessory that it calls the ‘Pack’. This accessory will attach to a smartphone and transform it into a motion controller by leveraging its integrated camera. It has a screen for displaying controls that manipulate the 3D model.
For a truly turnkey solution, Campfire is bringing all of this together with a software solution. According to the company, its ‘Scenes’ software enables users to pull the relevant 3D models for presentations. It purportedly supports “40 leading CAD and 3D file formats”. There is also the ‘Viewer’ software that displays these scenes to participants who join in via a Campfire headset or through a phone or tablet which allows for other mixed device participants.
According to the company, the system will be commercially available this Fall. The company is yet to announce the pricing but it stated that it will be available on a subscription basis.
There is also an ‘Early Access’ for select customers and those interested in this can apply via Campfire website.