We are excited to announce our latest investment in Echo3D, a cloud platform for 3D/AR/VR that provides tools and network infrastructure to help developers and companies quickly build and deploy 3D apps, games, and content. We initially reached out to Alon, Echo3D’s CEO and co-founder, because we felt the growth in quality content in the AR/VR space has outstripped the infrastructure to support such content for users across the world. We met the team in June and quickly realized they were building the infrastructure that 3D applications would be built on in the future.
Optimizing the end-user experience: Most of us take for granted the ease of use that comes with leveraging different online applications. Whether it’s Netflix, Slack, or your favorite blog, there are critical underlying technologies ensuring the end-user experience is as seamless as possible. So much so, that reliability is arguably more important to consumers than any other aspect (Fast Company) — consumers just expect it to work. The internet is changing though, and the technology (specifically Content Delivery Networks and Content Management Systems) that supports and optimizes our current 2D web is not built for our 3D future.
Delivering interactable 3D content: The internet is currently built on one-way interactions where the majority of experiences are consumed the same. Whether it’s text, a picture, or a video, the content is delivered and experienced from the same perspective. In the future, we expect that interactivity will be a major part of consumption, even on a normal website, and that even multiple people can experience and interact with content at the same time from different perspectives.
How content is delivered to individuals will underlie that interactivity. CDNs today do not support streaming multi-user 3D interactive content. Existing CMSs don’t support real-time updates or file conversion across different access ecosystems for 3D content. These solutions go hand in hand and are being built out by Echo3D.
Enabling instantly accessible updates: It has become accepted in the gaming community that games have to be these large downloads. In reality, we are seeing more value for consumers coming from small and frequent updates to larger games. With the proliferation of cloud gaming investments from the major players in gaming, we believe that the future is going to be streamed (vector, pixel, or other!) to consumers and instantly accessible.
Allowing ease of content updating and management: A major problem for 3D developers is content management. While images and videos are single-file content, 3D assets can have a mesh file, animation file, skeleton, many texture files, and a material file — multiple files representing a single asset. Current systems do not have a relational connection between assets, nor allow content managers to update parts of an asset individually. Echo3D allows for any asset, game, or experience to be updated in real-time and then streamed directly to the end-user.
Users also take for granted the consistency across different platforms when it comes to the current state of the internet. All of your devices and the 2D sites/apps you view on those devices generally support the same file types; but the 3D market is fragmented, from the platforms you develop content on to the devices that content is consumed through.
While images have the PNG format, videos have MP4, there is no standard format for 3D files. iOS only works with USDZ, Android prefers OBJ, Unity uses FBX, and the web needs GLTF. Echo3D dynamically streams the right format to each platform and allows developers to migrate and convert between formats when they port their app. Its cross-platform service allows developers to code with any SDK (ARCore, ARKit, Vuforia, etc) and for any platform (Unity, Unreal, MagicLeap, Android, iOS, HoloLens, Vive, Oculus, etc).
There are so many problems with the current infrastructure being leveraged for the future of the internet. We are using outdated, pieced-together solutions that work today but won’t as users continue to expect more from their online experiences. Echo3D has built the all-in-one CDN and CMS tool for developers that will not only enable developers to focus on the content itself but also allow for every user to have a seamless, engaging experience.
We are extremely excited to partner with Alon, Koren, and Ben. We’re also extremely honored to have gotten to lead their $4m Seed round alongside Space Capital and Remagine Ventures. They are truly on a mission to build one of the most important technologies for 3D applications and this team is positioned perfectly to accomplish that goal.