Augmented reality (AR) has become an increasingly popular technology in recent years, transforming industries such as aerospace, manufacturing, and retail, among others. One company at the forefront of this innovation is BuzzAR, co-founded by Bell Beh, which differentiates itself from other AR companies by focusing on the human experience.

In this interview with Bell Beh, we will delve into the origins of BuzzAR, its impact on the augmented reality industry, its unique approach to data privacy and security, and more.

What inspired you to start BuzzAR, and what do you hope to achieve with this company?

I want to create a happier, safer world for everyone. Having gone through a difficult childhood, I believe that the world needs more positive energy.

Creating a happier and safer world is an effective remedy for many of the struggles and issues faced by humanity. I am dedicated to co-creating this mission with like-minded people.

How does BuzzAR differentiate itself from other companies in the augmented reality space?

We focus on our proprietary immersive technology to track 70 unique muscle joints of a person, turning a human face into an avatar in real-time in real life.

While other online giants have done Generative AI, a combination of AR+ AI on mobile apps, we focus on our “offline first” approach, creating a new way for businesses to acquire users in their physical space.

Can you walk us through a recent project that BuzzAR completed and the impact it had on the client’s business?

Our recent business partner is in the hospitality space. The business has increased by over 1,000 new loyalty members and over 100 new hotel bookings, resulting in over half a million new revenue for the group in a month.

How do you envision the future of augmented reality, and what role do you see BuzzAR playing in that future?

Some people have called us the “Snapchat” for shopping malls and hotels; this could be partly true as BuzzAR plays a pivotal role in transforming bricks and mortar alongside their digital transformation.

How does BuzzAR approach issues around data privacy and security in its products and services?

As a legally trained founder, I have instilled a compliance culture from day 1 and lead by example, where we incorporated the “thumbs up” hand gesture, asking for consent from users before capturing the consented data. Users can also give a “thumbs down” to delete their data.

What kind of skills and qualities do you look for when hiring for your team at BuzzAR?

For skills per se, the company is 85% tech right now; we focus on getting Generative AI experts, Computer Vision, and Gameplay Engineers. The remaining 15% is more on non-tech, which generally requires some level of understanding in the tech space too. That said, I’m open if someone has no background but is open to learning and willing to put in the hours.

For qualities, we don’t really look at which university a person graduated from as much, but rather I focus more on soft skills, attitude, and motivation.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected BuzzAR, and what changes have you made to adapt to the current environment?

BuzzAR is a rare beneficiary of the pandemic period. Our business has tripled the revenue growth, we have had market expansion despite the whole world being closed down. A lot of our new hires are met online. We just met them for the first time post covid.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the augmented reality industry right now, and how is BuzzAR addressing those challenges?

I think we have passed the most challenging period, many great AR companies had collapsed and the remaining ones, such as BuzzAR being one of them, we all have our own niche. For BuzzAR, our approach is human experience first, we don’t believe in building a virtual world where no one interacts within that “world”, so we collaborate with shopping malls, hotels, venues to revive their physical space using our proprietary AR+ AI technologies.

How do you measure success at BuzzAR, and what metrics do you use to track progress?

The number of companies and people we have served and managed to create business impact, happiness, and even moments for the people. The tangible could be how much ROIs and brand lift we have done for a company, but the intangible could be as simple as how many smiles we brought to the community.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own augmented reality company?

Focus on your strengths, and accept your weaknesses. We can improve our weaknesses over time but focus on our strengths and turn them into a superpower.

Mark Ko

Mark Ko

Besides tech, I love chicken rice. Point me in the right direction and I'll go and try it. :)
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