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Swimming Pools, Augmented Reality, and the Future of VR and AR with Noah Nehlich – Episode 6

  • June 25, 2018

Episode Summary

The rise of Augmented Reality has allowed us to do so many things once considered science fiction. On this episode, Carl welcomes Noah Nehlich, owner of Structure Studios, a company that designs augmented reality programs to be used by contractors who want to plan what their completed projects will look like. Carl discusses with Noah how he developed his software, how AR will change the future, and the possible dangers of using augmented reality in daily life.

What We Covered

[03:30] – The story of Yard

[15:00] – The challenges of developing augmented reality

[17:30] – How will augmented reality change the future?

[18:45] – How augmented reality enhances computer assistance

[21:00] – How to combine history and augmented reality

[22:50] – Dangers of augmented reality

[25:00] – The marriage of automation and augmented reality

[26:45] – How long until augmented reality becomes a part of daily life?

[28:15] – Augmented reality and art

[30:54] – Augmented vs. Virtual reality


Links Mentioned

Yard showcase

Best AR experts under 40

Hyundai owner’s manual augmented reality

Ikea AR app

How to Find Noah

Noah on Facebook

Noah on Linkedin


Read Full Transcript

Noah Nehlich: That's what's special about the Yard app because it can bring elements of the 3D world, in our case swimming pools, spa, deck, and drop that two-scale in someone's real world. As they look through the iPad, we call it the window of the future because they're looking through at that pool in their backyard, and they can walk around it from any angle as if it's there.
Speaker 2: A wise man once said...
Speaker 3: A wise man once said...
Speaker 2: The best way to predict the future...
Speaker 3: Is to create it. You're about to experience [inaudible 00:00:39]. Scientist. Entrepreneurs. Thought leaders. You're listening to the Future of Humanity podcast.
Kyle Taylor: Welcome to the show. I am Kyle Taylor, and this is the Future of Humanity podcast. And if this is your first time joining us, you are truly in for a great episode. If you're been with us from the beginning or at least a few episodes already, welcome back. I am so glad you're here.
Today, we're exploring augmented reality, and it's potential impact on society in the coming years. But more importantly, we're talking about what's already here right now. Because today we're joined by Noah Nehlich, and Noah is the founder of Structure Studios. They have released an amazing new app called Yard, and this app allows people to design their backyard in augmented reality. Yes, this is not potential future. This exists today. Now, Noah is an entrepreneur, investor, and tech company enthusiast. He's into everything 3D. He's got more than 16 years of experience building the design software that pool and landscape designers use. Noah's goal is to improve lives through 3D experiences, and he is certainly achieving this goal.
Now, in this episode we discuss Yard, obviously, and other applications for augmented reality in the sales process. I believe that there is a huge opportunity here for businesses to utilize augmented reality during the sales process. We also discuss avoiding a creepy future. I think AR has a potential to be really creepy if we're not careful. And also talk about why Noah believes that AR right now is a mix of 80% science with 20% art. It's a great show, so let's not delay. Let's welcome Noah Nehlich.
So, I'm super excited. Hey, Noah. So great to have you here. While I was doing my research, I came across something I'm curious to know if you know this or not. Did you know that you're one of 15 people on the people [inaudible 00:02:43] list for the best augmented reality expert under 40?
Noah Nehlich: No, I did not know that.
Kyle Taylor: Okay, well, you know it's a great honor and privilege to have you on the show knowing that you're on that list. Noah, the reason I got you on, and you know this, but for those listening, you have created an incredible piece of software, in particular in the augmented reality specs. The reason that your software really caught my eye is a mutual friend of ours shared the release of your software on Facebook. I saw it, and was like wow, this is actually a practical piece of software. This is not Pokemon Go. This is not some gimmicky thing. This has real world application. So, tell us a bit about what you've created, and why you've created it. I would love to hear the story of how this came about.
Noah Nehlich: Our purpose as a company, and it's everything that we think of every day, is to improve lives through 3D experiences. So, how can we make a 3D experience that actually improves somebody's life? And so, our core product is pool and landscape design software designed for professionals. And so, they already design in 3D every day, but a huge issue that people have is taking these traditionally 2D, flat drawings and visualizing them how they'll improve their life.
In this case, for our company case it's swimming pools, landscapes. They're highly complex. They're typically the 2nd largest investment a person will ever make, and until a 3D solution comes about, nobody knows what it's gonna look like until it's done, which is typically too late if they had something else in mind. And so, like with cars or something, a physical product that's created in advance, you can test drive it. You can feel it. You can smell it.
With something that's not yet constructed, you have no idea outside of perhaps an artist's rendering of what it's going to look like. But even 3D drawings present a challenge of scale. So, if I were to show you a house in 3D, scale's totally relative in a 3D space on a computer monitor. So, we felt what if we can bring that 3D object into the real world, to scale, so that an end user could explore it and picture themselves enjoying it or creating memories with it.
Kyle Taylor: One of the things I love most ... I watched some of your training videos that you provide on your website to people to use your software, and one of the things I loved was you talk about the idea of when you've put like the spa, the swimming pool and the spa, with the iPad held up, you could get into the spa, and you can look around and see what your view would be if you were sitting in the spa. When I saw that, I was like that is sales gold and technologically amazing as well.
You mention that your clients traditionally have been building in 3D models anyway. Can you talk me about what exactly that is? What's the difference between what you've built now with Yard, which is the name of your software, compared to the 3D models that are on a computer? What's kind of the difference?
Noah Nehlich: So, in 3D models on the computer, or maybe to make it a little bit closer to what augmented reality is, let's say virtual reality. So, in 3D models, we can drop end user into that 3D design in virtual reality so that they view themselves as if they're there. They can look around, maybe walk around, and they can sense what it'll be like to be in this 3D world. But there's still a disconnect between a 3D world and the real world.
And so that's what's special about the Yard app because it can bring elements of the 3D world, in our case swimming pools, spa, deck, and drop that two-scale in someone's real world. As they look through the iPad, we call it the window of the future because they're looking through at that pool, in their backyard, and they can walk around it from any angle as if it's there.
Traditionally our customers, in order to communicate this, they'll show them the 3D view on the computer. Maybe they'll use virtual reality. Maybe just a computer monitor. And then the next step, when the homeowner or the client's excited about it, they walk them in their backyard with a spray paint can and spray out the outline of the future project, like is this what you had in mind? Sometimes the answer's no. And so, with augmented reality, early on the process. They can draw, they can bring in elements, two-scale. They can sit in their spa, enjoy the view before it's even built, you know, with only a few minutes of time invested on both sides.
Kyle Taylor: When I think about that, I think what kind of results are your clients seeing? From a sales point of view, I mean you and I both in business, from a sales point of view, to be able to show something that doesn't exist yet in an almost tangible way must have a huge impact on the ability to sell. What kind of results are your clients seeing who are utilizing this type of technology?
Noah Nehlich: Absolutely huge. It's too early, as we've only released it two months ago now, to get concrete numbers, but everything we're hearing is it's incredible from two standpoints. One, the visualization standard. The time to close the sale has increased dramatically. The entertainment value, or being memorable in the client's head because it's new technology, sets them apart from anyone else.
As an example, I went just before the package was released, we had given out to a few early adopters to test it. And I traveled with them on their job sites with their real clients. And there was this one client in particular, he had paid $500,000 for a lot premium just for the view. That's separate from the land or the house and anything there. It's just for the view, he paid $500,000. And so, he was obviously very concerned with how this new backyard project, which was in itself probably a three to $400,000 project investment, would frame the view in his backyard. The designer had drawn it out on our traditional 3D design software. The client was excited about it, but his big hold up was the view, of course.
We went there with the Yard app, with the iPad, set up the design in the customer's backyard, and walked around with the iPad and the client. He would ask questions like, so, he'd walk away from the iPad because it's so new to him, and he'd say, so this is where I'm gonna be grilling, and this is what I'm gonna see when I grill? We're like, well let's look. So we walk over with the iPad and the grill's there, and I'm like, just look through the window of the future. And he's like, this is brilliant. Wow, that's great.
And so when the people are watching me grill, what will they see? And so we'd back up to the seats by the barbecue grill and level bar, and it was the whole view of the city perfectly framed by this designer's pool and fire features. He's like, this is exactly what I want. I was concerned about the view. I've not ... I'm ready. It's that kind of emotional connection in someone's mind, their visual.
Kyle Taylor: And for everyone who's listening, and you're probably like, I want to see what this looks like, in the show notes I'll make sure that there are some of the demo videos available as well as a link, obviously, to Structure Studios' website so you can check out and see exactly just how cool this is.
One of the things that I think we need to make sure is clear, right? What you have built is not just a augmented reality display of something that you 3D built in another application, although, as I understand it, that is possible. What you've built is actually augmented reality app on the iPad that you can design then and there on the iPad. Like you could be in the backyard. I could be a pool builder, and I could be in the backyard with a client, and I can design it then and there and say is this what you're thinking?
Noah Nehlich: Absolutely. Yeah, as far as we know, we're the first ones to market with an augmented reality app that you can physically draw in augmented reality and create 3D objects with depth and accurate scale. And it's a pretty cool application of it.
Kyle Taylor: I agree. I think it's fantastic. It kind of reminds me a little bit actually ... I was like you know, if the Sims ever released like an augmented reality version of the Sims, it kind of reminded me a bit of that's probably what the Sims would create.
You know, how long did it take to develop this app? Is this something that took years, or was it like brainwave idea, oh let's just build it, and it was done in six months?
Noah Nehlich: Definitely years. Kind of a unique thing happened because we believe, and maybe I'm wrong, but we believe that we're the first to market with an application even close to this caliber. You know, obviously, like you had pointed out, there's visualization where you ... Like IKEA has a great app to visualize furniture in augmented reality. And it's just a placement tool. There's tons of apps that are coming out like that even today.
This idea started about three years ago now. We had an idea we were kicking around in development one day. It's like, wouldn't it be cool if we could walk around the customer's yard with a tablet, and they could see their pool in the scene? And there was like, yeah, yeah, that'd be pretty cool. And that was kind of the end of it because it's an insurmountable challenge three years ago to think through, especially for a small company like us.
About seven months later, one of the engineers comes up to me, and goes, "hey, I want to show you something. I've been working on this in my free time since we had that conversation. I have this demo that I built on an Android tablet, and it shows that I can capture, create mesh data, create 3D geometry based on objects in the real world, with just one camera." I'm like, that's incredible. Let's see it. So, it was really cool. The general concepts were there. So, great. Would you like to work on it? He said, "I'd love to work on it. I'd be a dream to work on something like this." So, great. Let's do it. Let's put the resources toward it, make it happen. We'll get your current projects immediately off to someone else. Let's start it up. Big challenge is of course, the algorithms retracting, tons of math problems.
It ended up that it was too challenging for us to get all the motions that we wanted to with the single camera, so we looked into manufacturing our own camera with two lenses so that we could get some accurate depth. We struggled a lot with the Android tablets available to the market to render both our 3D geometry and do the calculations for the augmented reality. We had issues with overheating outside. You know, lots of trial and error. We had a really good picture of what we wanted in the end.
And so, we're just about to the point where we had gotten most of the limitations out. We're about ready to start manufacturing the cameras, and Apple had their keynote on the ARKit. They did that demo on the stage, and everything was like, well it only does one ground plane. It's really limited. It doesn't look like a good fit. We have to do our due diligence. We have to try it. So, we tried it, and they pulled some amazing magic with the ARKit. We work really hard with really talented engineers, and what they've been able to do with one camera with ARKit's nothing short of impressive. And Google too, with ARCore since.
As soon as we played with that, that would have been, oh what was that? Probably late August of 2017 when we really tried it out. Well, this solves most ... It creates a challenge or two, but it solves some of our big challenges. One of the biggest of is we don't have to manufacture cameras, which is a huge challenge. Let's switch over to let's try the ARKit. Let's get a prototype. We had a prototype up in two or three weeks. It worked great to draw. We could bring in and drop models in from our core software.
And so we put full production ahead, and so our goal was to have it by the end of 2017, to have something released to our customers, which on the outside company perspectives is super quick turnaround because the ARKit update didn't come out until the fall update. And so, then we had a total, running, viable product beginning of March of 2018. On the surface, it looks like it was really quick, only a few months, but a lot of thought and effort went into it in the early days, which we definitely jumped the gun. We always try to be ahead, which in this case, it looks like that could have hurt us on an investment side of time, but we wouldn't have had our eyes open to jump on that opportunity if we hadn't been working on it so in depth leading up.
Kyle Taylor: Absolutely. And I mean that's often the case, right? If you hadn't had those thoughts and ideas earlier, you possibly still would only just be thinking about, hey, that'd be a cool idea.
Noah Nehlich: Yep.
Kyle Taylor: I'm curious, you touched on it slightly, but what are some of the challenges when it comes to, especially designing augmented reality? Like, for an end user, who might not be a math wizard to use your software to design in augmented reality, I mean what were some of the challenges that you had to overcome with developing this software?
Noah Nehlich: I probably think of that like on the user ... The usability side of it, right? Our biggest challenge, it's even the case with ARKit and ARCore with Google, is getting the user to understand what the tablet's doing. That you're literally teaching the tablet what the world looks like, and how to move the tablet so it understands. I like to think of it as, you know, picture if you had one eye, and you had tunnel vision, so all you could see is like through a tube. How would your brain be able to process if you've never had peripheral vision in your life that the world is 3D?
Kyle Taylor: Yeah, like so how would you figure out depth, and how far away things are, and...
Noah Nehlich: Scale? Yeah, there'd be lots of issues because you don't have the two eyes for depth, and you have to walk around in a certain way to see that there's sides to things, dimension. You have to move forward and backwards to grasp their scale. And so, that's essentially what an iPad or tablet is these days, has one camera, tunnel vision, and so a lot of the user side of the work is helping the app understand what the real world looks like with a little bit of movement. The toughest learning curve there is to AR on the user side at this time.
Kyle Taylor: Yeah. I personally have never used Pokemon Go when it was all the rage. That challenge specific to an app like yours where you're designing in AR, is that a challenge that all augmented reality apps have that you've kind of got to teach it how to understand the world around it before it starts dropping things into the world?
Noah Nehlich: Yeah, that's common to anything that you want something accurately represented in the world. Keep going back to IKEA, but they have a pretty solid app. If you haven't played with it, you should download it and play with it. You know, let's say you're just dropping in an end table or a chair, you want that scale to be representative of what it's gonna be in your house, so you do have to spend a moment, doesn't take long, to teach the IKEA app that this is my room. And it's gonna figure out the scale of it, then it'll connect as soon as it knows.
And, but something like, early days at least of Pokemon Go, it's merely just putting things on top of. It's a super crude visual effect essentially. Really need to know what size the world was. It just wanted to look like the Pokemon was in the real world.
Kyle Taylor: So, for a real world application though, as you say, you know, if you want to visualize what a real product looks like, scale has to come into it. Depth has to come into it. It's not just a let's just drop this thing over the top. It's not like a SnapChat, you know, putting some glasses on you. There's a lot more to it than that.
That's a good segway of if we project into the future, and we think about where is augmented reality going to go based on what you've been working on and in the circles you travel, what are your thoughts on how is augmented reality going to transform business, society, etc.? Like, what do you see?
Noah Nehlich: I believe augmented reality is our future. Everything will be augmented reality. We're just at the very beginning cusp of seeing like the very first computers in the world, very first mechanical calculators of augmented reality. As devices get even more mobile and more compact, and the point where glasses, or maybe down to contact lens type thing, the whole world will change from you know, the computer the monitors that we use today being totally obsolete because we'll be able to watch TV, watch a screen or do things on any surface with anything. We'll be able to play games on any environment. But I think more importantly where augmented reality's gonna help the world is how we teach each other and learn from the world with computer assistance.
Kyle Taylor: Talk to me about that. Explain what are you kind of seeing happening there?
Noah Nehlich: Well, probably the most common example that's seen, which really comes down, with today's technology comes down to more of a, like a database collection problem than it does an augmented reality problem, having the augmented reality walk you through something by recognizing real world objects.
So, for instance, if I wanted to change the spark plugs in my car. So I've never done it personally. I don't know how to do it. I could pull out a manual, or could I throw up an augmented reality glasses or an app that recognizes the car, recognizes what screws need to come out, recognizes what part of the engine needs to be, what wires need to be unplugged, and highlight those and show me when it's correct, when it's not correct. And can totally walk me through that.
Kyle Taylor: That reminds me of, you know, it sounds like YouTube 2.0, like today, people would just go and find a YouTube video, right? I don't remember how long ago it was when Microsoft first announced their holo lens, part of their trailer if you like, their ad for holo lens was just that. It was someone like fixing plumbing under the sink, and it was this AR style showing them twist here, do that.
Noah Nehlich: Exactly, yep. And that was someone else on AR guiding them through it. Like, so they were manipulating their view. So, there's way that it can teach us so that AR can recognize real objects in the world, and then tell us anything about that object as we look at it, whether how it's made, interesting facts about it.
And the other thing that I think augmented reality is really useful for, I've always been inspired by the historical aspect too. The original reason Pokemon Go exists, right, is that the creators of [inaudible 00:20:35], can't remember his name off hand, but he wanted a way to show all the ships that are underneath San Francisco. Because back in the day, early San Francisco settlers, there was a law that if a ship sank, you owned that land. And as the bay was going out to the ocean, they would intentionally sink ships so they would own the land when at once, then future covered up that ship. And so throughout the San Francisco area, it's ships. So, he was inspired to create an AR app you could look through and see where all those ships are. But man, that was the original.
So think about that for a minute from a history perspective of being able to walk down a street and see how it was 100 or 1,000 years ago.
Kyle Taylor: That's a good point. I hadn't really thought about that. Like, I mean, I thought, oh yeah, you could use it to learn. I suppose I thought more about virtual reality being the kind of world that you would drop into and see what life was like in a certain period of time, but AR, you know, yeah, showing, being able to highlight those different aspects. And actually, I was just thinking as a tourist ... You know, if I'm a tourist in a country that I've not visited before, if I wanted to find out interesting historical facts, overlay the historical ... Like I wouldn't have had a clue that there are all those sunk ships out there.
Noah Nehlich: Yeah, and that AR takes it to the next level, because right now you could walk by and Wikipedia can notify you when you're by a historical site, right? But what would it be like to see it? What would it be like for AR to be able to access pictures on the Internet from streets you walk down today from World War II, and it can overlay those right to your perfect perspective so you can see what it was like in history during those times? That's a really exciting application of augmented reality that's coming.
Kyle Taylor: It reminds me of two movies. One, Minority Report. Feels very Minority Report. But also, more recently on Netflix I watched Anon. It was called Anon. The same kind of thing. I don't know if you've seen it, but like, you know, the cop's walking around the street, and it's AR clearly in his eyes detecting people's faces and showing up their name, their age, what they do, and then as a cop he could have access to their memories as well because there was a camera recording all the time.
It's interesting, like, it's both exciting, but at the same time, you're like, for having all that information being sent to you, that's cool. But what if it goes the other way, and then, we're the ones providing that information? I don't know. Do you really want to walk around with, imagine Facebook with AR? I'm walking around, and I can see someone and instantly whatever their public, Facebook profile is displays to me. I've never met them before, but instantly I know like whether they're married, what their latest photos were, anything they've made public on Facebook is at my disposal while we're in a conversation. I don't know. I don't know if I'd love that or not.
Noah Nehlich: I don't imagine too many people would like it. Like the application sounds ... That's one of those where the application sounds really cool on the surface, but it's actually really creepy.
Kyle Taylor: Like Google glass, right? Google glass was a beginning of some of this, and it was amazing tech, but the market rejected it.
Noah Nehlich: Yes. The public definitely spoke, and now you don't hear about it. Yeah, I think therein lies responsibility any of us that are making this technology to do it ethically and correct. That'd be like, that'd be a scary thought. That'd be a crazy line to cross.
Kyle Taylor: But, you know, the thing is, if you look at history in general is that we don't just leap over it. We make small little steps in increments so that the line keeps moving, and so, historically if we look forward, we might go, well we crossed a line. But if we live it, we probably won't realize we've crossed the line until we're way over it, and we go, oh, when did that happen?
Noah Nehlich: Yes. Yep.
Kyle Taylor: One of the things I always thought about when I was looking at your app, and as you talk about, the app like IKEA has, and even actually Hyundai, or Hyundai as they call it in the U.S. But in Australia, we call it Hyundai. They have released a owner's/driver's manual in augmented reality back in 2016 I think it was just like what you were saying, like it would in a way show you where different parts of your car were. And I don't know if it actually showed you how to change spark plugs, but at least it would ... You could pull up, open the bonnet and see over augmented reality what all the different pieces were, which is pretty cool.
And I was thinking about this going, are we gonna see a day where me, as a consumer, not as a pool builder, but me as a general consumer can download an app like yours, go into my backyard, and design my own pool and then go get a quote, be happy with it there on the app, and then click order? And then the robots come, or maybe it's humans, but maybe if enough time goes past, the robots come, and they build it for me, or they 3D print it for me? Is there a technological reason that couldn't happen?
Noah Nehlich: No, there's no technological reason. You know, there's obviously lots of challenges because a lot of engineering goes into a pool to make sure it's structurally sound and the soil is correct. You know, there's a lot of codes that go into it, but there's no reason with enough data of the area that that wouldn't be possible.
It just comes down to, I think the biggest challenge in AR today because it's now so available even in it's very early form with phones and tablets is we're down to data problems, in that, do we have enough data to recognize and present the right information? That's only a data problem.
Kyle Taylor: Definitely. With big data, that's fast being solved. I know even Google, you know, they demonstrated recently, their recent IO, the idea of their camera ... I think they call it Lens. I think they call it Google Lens. Being able to put that up against something, and as you say, it just needs the data for it to know that dress is available to buy from Macy's or whatever, and it's this price, and here's the button to buy it. That's all that's really required, right?
Noah Nehlich: Exactly. Amazon has put the patent out for the virtual mirror where you can try on clothes from Amazon just by standing in front of the mirror, right? Get a sense of how they look. You know, that's patented, so I don't think that's a technology problem at this point. It's more of a data problem, and implementing it in a way that's user friendly.
Kyle Taylor: So, how long do you think we'll need before we're seeing that just across the board? What do you think? Are we talking years, a decade?
Noah Nehlich: We're close. With this, with Apple and Google making AR so accessible, it will speed up everything dramatically, and we were able to get our app out in a few months [inaudible 00:26:58]. I would say within the next year or two, we're gonna see incredible broad applications of AR, ways that we can't imagine right now.
Kyle Taylor: Wow. I mean, that's so exciting to me, but at the same time, I do have that little dangling idea that's just another step towards, you know, seeing each other's Facebook profiles in our contact lenses.
Noah Nehlich: But it's important we have that fear because that's what helps keep us grounded.
Kyle Taylor: Absolutely. I mean, I think that's it. Saying I was having this conversation with a friend of mine recently, and it's straight out of Jurassic Park. You know, Dr. Ian Malcolm said, "You were so worried about whether or not you could, you never stopped to think if you should." And I feel that that quote out of Jurassic Park is a perfect example of some of what's happening around the world in technology today. There's so many people focused on whether they could, no one's stopping to think if they should. That's what I want to explore. That's what we're exploring to understand what's happening, what's out there, so we can start asking whether or not it's a good idea, and how we make it a good idea.
One of the things I want to touch on because in one of your videos, you talk about augmented reality being 80% science, 20% art. Can you explain what you mean by that?
Noah Nehlich: Yes. There is still a slight disconnect from AR being totally representational of what's in the real world. 80% science means that it's doing a lot of math, a lot of image recognition, and it's really great technology. But it still takes the 20% of the user to understand how to use it. In it's final form, AR will just work in every circumstance, and we won't even have to think twice about it. But AR is still highly limited by, for instance, light that it can see. Of course, you can use infrared, various sensors to be able to see in darker areas, but their range is very limited. So, and the other thing that augmented reality does in most applications, Hollow Lens and applications like Hollow Lens form an exception to this, is that right now it's simply augments, or it just overlays the data on top of the real world. So, if something gets in between what your brain will perceive is the foreground object to the background object and something gets in between that and breaks the illusion, that's where the art of augmented reality is lost.
In the near future, as they get rid of the foreground obstacle issue, and they can detect those and clip out whatever's being augmented that's supposed to be behind it, that'll be a huge shift in what our brain processes for augmented reality data.
Kyle Taylor: Well, yeah, as you say, the illusion would be lost. If I've put my pool down in my backyard, and then I walk around and I happen to walk past a tree, and now all the sudden the pool is both behind and in front of the tree, it's gonna break that illusion. Whereas, if they solve that problem, that will be huge in terms of what it can do.
Noah Nehlich: Yes. And that'll be huge for visuals and just the naturalness of augmented reality. So with any new technology, there's these little ... This little thing, like foreground objects or you have to have certain lighting conditions. You have to ... It has to be bright in a room or outside. And as each one of these little issues is solved, some are big issues, it'll slowly creep toward the more and more realistic where we'll be really surprised as consumers will wake up one day, and like there's an amazing product that we have to all have right now based on augmented reality.
Kyle Taylor: Yep, and as you say, it's probably only a few years, to maybe ten years max away.
Noah Nehlich: I'd say three years at most. Everyone's been woken up to augmented reality. You just think how bullish Apple is about augmented reality.
Kyle Taylor: Are you with the people who think that AR is going to strip virtual reality? Or do you think that they're both gonna expand at the same time?
Noah Nehlich: Two totally different applications. I feel like, personal opinion, I was so excited about virtual reality. Like this is the future. And then AR demos started coming out around, and it was like, no wait, that's the future. The more I use virtual reality, the more we see it used, the more it's used for entertainment. Which AR can be used for entertainment too, but I think AR is so ... If we go back to what my purpose is which is to improve lives through 3D experiences, AR has a far greater implication.
VR is so immersive. It's awesome. They're putting in great virtual reality experiences that replacing the old school arcades. Things you can't get at home. But augmented reality is something we're gonna be able to carry around with us every day, and real world uses, hopefully that aren't creepy. And so, that I think is the key.
Kyle Taylor: We're putting our trust in developers and companies like yours that it won't be creepy, that you'll keep us on the straight and narrow.
For anyone listening that maybe curious about your software, who is your clientele and where can they find out more about your software?
Noah Nehlich: We make 3D pool and landscape design software specifically for professional pool and landscape contractors. So, if you were to go buy a swimming pool, they would use our software to show you what your future backyard investment would look like. Professionals can get it from our website, structurestudios.com, or on the version augmented reality, search the iTunes app store for Yard app.
Kyle Taylor: Right, awesome. Very cool. Something I want to ask you is, when you think about the Future of Humanity, are you optimistic? Pessimistic? Where do you fall, and why?
Noah Nehlich: I'm always optimistic because there's a subset of problems in this world which will never be fixed the way humanity is right now. That's always true, huge challenges. But overall, we look at humanity, everyone leans toward the good, in my opinion. We all have a moral compass, and as long as everyone works on that moral compass, keeps it in check sometimes by thinking of the worst case scenario. I think a good example of this is voting sites, like Reddit, right?
Kyle Taylor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Noah Nehlich: It's typically, even though you have a lot of negative bad things and toxic people on there, in the end, what makes it to the top? It's the good content and the good stuff because overall the good of humanity overpowers it, makes the best effort. And so I think you had mentioned to think forward to those future problems. What are those? What do we have to watch out for? But instead of dwelling on them, focus on what should be done about them.
Kyle Taylor: Absolutely. The more we focus on the solutions, be aware of the problems, but focus on the solutions, then that's good. And I believe the more we have discussions about, the more greater awareness there is to the problems, that helps the market. You know, why did the market not respond well to the Google Glass? The market's attitudes can change. They can be manipulated, or they can just change over time. So the more awareness there is so that the market can make an informed decision I think is important.
I love your optimism. That's good.
Thank you so much for joining us. I really look forward to seeing what other software you develop, and where you go with augmented reality. I'm curious, do you think you'll ever ... Well maybe you might not know. But do you have plans to move out of the pool and backyard space? Or are you gonna focus on that niche entirely?
Noah Nehlich: Yeah, I don't know. I've been in this space a long time. Here's what it comes down to. I think this is what a lot of founders, a struggle a lot of founders have is they say, okay I've built this platform. Now, am I ready to move on? Every founder that's moved on to another category, another industry, that I've spoken to, I always ask, do you regret it? And nine times out of ten, the answer is yes, I regret it. And then, of course, why do you regret it? And the reason they say is, well, of course, I poured my life into building this thing that's a passion of mine. Then I thought, well I can go do this other thing, but I started from ground zero. And it wasn't what I expected. Instead, why not build a foundation that we can build and expand off of? That's how I view it. Super happy to be involved in this industry and where we're at. And it's just a platform and a foundation that we grow and expand as we continue to help people.
Kyle Taylor: Fantastic. And very wise from a business point of view. I think that is a wise decision. I can just see that you have applications. You could take what you've done into interior decorating, and so many other applications to augmented reality. But there's also a lot of wisdom in sticking to your lane and staying focused, so I love that.
Thanks again for coming on. I cannot wait to see more of what you're doing.
Make sure, guys, you check out the show notes. We'll make sure we've got videos to show you the demos and also links of how to find out more about Noah as well. So, thanks so much.
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