Singapore AI-Powered AR Wearable Startup Scores $3 Million From Oculus And Siri Cofounders

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Brilliant Labs, a Singapore-based startup that develops augmented-reality wearables powered by ChatGPT, raised more than $3 million in a seed round from investors including cofounders of some of Silicon Valley’s best-known companies.

Brendan Iribe, cofounder of Oculus VR, the virtual-reality headset designer acquired by Meta, and Adam Cheyer, cofounder of Siri, the mobile assistance app developer now part of Apple, are among the investors in Brilliant Labs, the startup said in a statement on Wednesday. Other investors include Eric Migicovsky, founder of smartwatch maker Pebble, and early PayPal investor Plug and Play Ventures in Silicon Valley.

Brilliant Labs recently rolled out its first product—a monocle-like AR device with a ChatGPT extension embedded which users can clip on an eyewear. Equipped with a built-in microphone and smart camera, the gadget allows users to build apps that can interface with ChatGPT and other generative AI apps, the company said.

Since Brilliant Labs started shipping its AR lens in February, tech enthusiasts have been trying out the product. Recently, a group of Stanford students built an application for the gadget using GPT-4, the brain behind ChatGPT, that can generate text suggestions on the monocle’s display for what to say on a date and at a job interview.

Brilliant Labs said it will use the fresh capital to expand its team and develop new AR wearables. “We believe that generative AI is the key enabler for AR, so at Brilliant Labs, we’re building an open-source ecosystem to support developers and creatives reimagining the future,” Bobak Tavangar, cofounder and CEO of Brilliant Labs, said in the statement. “We’re thrilled to have the support of our investors as we usher in a new era of embodied intelligence—the intersection of AI and AR.”

Global tech giants have previously rushed to launch AR and VR wearables, but no product has become widely-adopted and yield commercial success so far. Google in March said it would no longer sell the latest enterprise edition of its smart glasses first unveiled in 2013. Meanwhile, Apple’s Vision Pro has received mixed reviews due to its hefty price tag and short battery life. And Meta is still losing money on its AR and VR venture that develops the Quest headset.

Brilliant Labs was established in 2019 by Tavangar, Raj Nakarja and Benjamin Heald. Tavangar previously worked at Apple as a program lead, while Nakarja founded his own wearable computer startup and Heald was a freelance product designer, according to their LinkedIn profiles.


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