BadVR is an analytics platform that utilizes virtual reality and machine learning to bring data into high-definition. The advantage of virtual reality allows users to discover and to identify hidden problems within data, so users can effectively develop logical solutions. Users have the opportunity to “step inside their data” and to interact with complex datasets. In the future, BadVR plans to expand its reach in augmented reality by developing headsets that first-responders can use to address public safety issues and leverage the efficiency of 5G networks.
We sat down with BadVR’s CEO Suzanne Borders to further discuss the advantages of an immersive data experience.
Tell us about BadVR?
BadVR is an immersive data visualization and analytics platform which, simply put, empowers users to literally “step inside their data” using virtual and augmented technology. Our mission is to democratize insight. We achieve this by providing a faster, easier to use, more accurate and efficient way with which users – technical and non-technical, can work with the world’s ever-growing datasets. As a company, we have been operational for 3 years now and have a team of 12 people, loosely based in the Los Angeles area.
Tell us about how you got started in this space?
Prior to founding BadVR, I was a product and UX designer. Over the course of my career, I was most frequently responsible for the design of 2D data visualization and analytics tools, specifically those with non-technical end users. It was incredibly challenging to design interfaces for such large datasets that would easily and accurately empower the discovery of insights within these datasets to users such as real estate agents and brokers. I struggled a lot with the limitations of 2D, hitting every conceivable restriction offered by 2D when it came to communicating data to end users and making that data interactive and meaningful when it came to discovering insights. During this challenging process, which I repeated, broadly speaking, over several companies I began to realize adding multiple dimensions to these visualizations would help dramatically in terms of helping users navigate, analyze, discover and communicate insights within these large, complex datasets.
Simultaneously, I kept my eye on the immersive (VR/AR) hardware market. Early headsets lacked the mobility and usability I wanted to see as a device on which I would potentially build and deploy my company’s software, which is specifically designed to be user friendly. As the immersive headsets and hardware matured and became more user friendly, and most specifically mobile, I felt the market was ready for my product idea. That’s when I quit my job and officially founded BadVR.
What problem is BadVR solving?
We aim to solve the many challenges that companies – and the individuals that comprise them – experience when working with and communicating insights from modern, large datasets. As the size and scale of modern data continues to increase at an exponential rate, 2D tools have reached their functional limits, offering diminishing value and no longer portraying insights effectively. Likewise, the amount of training necessary for an average user to truly engage with and find insights within these datasets has increased as well, meaning that the number of people capable of doing this work has decreased and many important voices have been excluded from the conversation.
Our platform brings clarity to complex datasets with decreases in time to insight and enhancements in recall, ultimately yielding faster and more accurate business decisions. For instance, within one of our initial targeted industries, telecom, our technology is expected to speed up the planning, deployment, and CapEx efficiency of next-generation 5G networks.
What are some of the innovative solutions BadVR has coming up? Anything we should be looking out for?
We have several exciting solutions – including our RF spectrum visualization environment, called “SeeSignal.” A limited demo of the app is available now in the Magic Leap World store. The product allows anyone to put on an augmented reality headset to see – for the very first time! – their WiFi and cellular networks in their entirety, in real-time, contextual to their live environment. Information surrounds us constantly but up until now, it’s remained invisible to the naked eye. But with SeeSignal, we give anyone, including network technicians, “data x-ray vision” so they can instantly see dead zones and hot spots and make on-the-fly adjustments to improve network quality and coverage.
What are some public sector applications to your technology that our government audience might not be aware of?
Beyond the aforementioned telecom use case, with the planning and deployment of 5G networks, our technology also addresses public safety use cases such as firefighting, EMT responses, other inclement weather event planning, and responses (such as hurricane and tornadoes). These use-cases utilize one of our products that combines together multiple different types of data to create an immersive operations center, where users can go to communicate, collaborate, plan responses, and perform real-time monitoring across a wide variety of real-time and historical datasets. Additionally, there are other public sector applications such as urban planning and utility monitoring. Given the scale of information gathered, utilized, and monitored by the public sector, it’s unsurprising that we’ve seen such a large demand and use for our product in that area.
Anything else that you would like us to know about you or your company?
We are proud to be a woman-owned and operated small business, with a mission to make data more accessible so that a broader amount and variety of voices can be included in conversations and decisions made involving data. As a team, we are an eclectic bunch, with a wide variety of backgrounds, spanning both the engineering and technical areas as well as the creative arts. This mixture of left and right brain, artistic and technical, gives us a unique advantage when it comes to innovation. All of the greatest scientific discoveries generally involved the combination of two broadly unrelated disciplines – and as a team, we embody this truth on a daily basis. We live our mission and believe fully in the value of democratizing insight so that everyone’s voice can be heard and everyone’s feedback shared when making data-driven decisions that affect our lives on a day to day basis. Information should not solely be the domain of analysts and experts; it should be publicly accessible and easily accessed by all. Our team’s diverse backgrounds and skillsets ensure that any product we bring to market appeals to, and works for, anyone who chooses to put on a headset and “step into their data.”
It was great speaking with Suzanne. Be sure to learn more about BadVR by visiting their complete GovShop profile.